Nature, an adventure not only for our children
The smallest creatures, the greatest fascination!
Marie squats down and stares spellbound at a blade of grass in the meadow on which a tiny yellow snail is sitting. No, Marie realizes, the snail is not sitting, but is gradually crawling up the stalk, leaving behind a shiny trail that sparkles in all the colors of the rainbow. Marie is completely fascinated. Then she straightens up and lots of questions bubble out of her:
“Where did this slimy trail come from? Why does the snail need it? And what is it made of?”.
We are out and about on the meadow in front of the house. Bees fly by, searching for nectar and carrying the pollen from flower to flower. We observe how they work, how they seek out certain flowers and carry thick pollen packets on their legs. The children learn very clearly and incidentally why bees collect nectar and how they pollinate the flowers at the same time.
The lake as an adventure playground turns children into nature explorers
Then we continue on to the lake, keeping an eye out for coots. “Up ahead,” Paul whispers and points to the shore. We wind our way through the tall grass. The coots have had tiny offspring and are out and about in the reeds. Finn counts six chicks, but no, there are seven, Sophie calls out, one has stumbled and is now looking for a connection.
The Blesshuhn family and their children
We watch the family for a while, the children speculate about what the little ones can already do and what they like to eat. On the way back from the lake, we pick a few dandelion leaves to eat in a salad. “Eww, that’s disgusting!” says Finn. Paul bravely gives it a try. Finn watches him, and when Paul keeps a straight face, Finn feels like it too. He is really amazed at how bitter and spicy the leaves taste.
Discover nature and life with all your senses
“The flowers are so beautiful, can we eat them too?”. Finn tries it: “Hihi, that tickles my lip”. We collect a handful of the large yellow dandelion flowers and take them with us to add to the salad later. The children are already looking forward to it and on the way back they ask at the many other flowers in the meadow whether we can add them to the salad.
It’s not just the flowers that bloom during the nature adventure…
Almost all the children here are like Marie, Paul and Finn: They really blossom when they get out into nature. There is so much to discover and the children have an eye for the many details around them. They ask a thousand questions that go through their minds and want to understand the connections.
Learning to see and experience
Of course you can also answer their questions with Google or books – but what really sticks? We go forays outside, in all weathers and at any time of year. Learning takes place in passing, up close and with all the senses via touch, sight, smell and hearing.
Between meadows, forests and lake:
The farm daycare center and its beautiful location
The Feldmochinger See lake, embedded in meadows and fields, and a wooded area within walking distance provide the ideal surroundings.
It is particularly exciting for the children to see and experience how nature changes with the seasons. Every day is different, the weather and temperatures are always changing, and everything outside is in a constant state of flux.
Adventure seasons: experience nature in constant change
In spring, many trees are still free of leaves and let the sun shine down to the ground. The first flowers carefully poke their heads out of the soil and we experience how nature awakens. Snow stains last particularly long in shady corners.
The birds are now looking for mates and building their nests. With a bit of luck, you may see them looking for insects and worms for their offspring. Now we are also out in the garden a lot, sowing, enjoying the first green, watering and watching how the little lettuce plants develop into a mighty head over the weeks, which we then harvest and process together. Perhaps a few dandelion leaves will also find their way into the salad.
Summer is literally the time of abundance, everything is green and in bloom. The air is warm and smells wonderfully of forest, lake or mown grass. The children also feel the power and are full of energy when playing. In the fall, we harvest in the garden. There are colorful leaves and plenty of apples under the trees. We watch as the squirrels eagerly bury their finds to stock up for the winter. Will they remember all the seats later? If not, perhaps a small tree will grow right there next spring …
… and winter
Then the first snow comes, covers the landscape like a blanket and nature goes to sleep. We can see that everything also needs times of rest to recharge our batteries. There’s something calming about the wonderful quiet of winter, and the children love being indoors to paint, do crafts and play. “What are the coots doing now?” asks Paul in February. Marie, Finn and the others suggest that we should go and have a look very soon. And that’s what we do and visit the water birds on the frozen lake. The children’s footsteps crunch in the snow, their breath forms little clouds. “What are the birds eating now?” Finn wants to know.
Giving answers and finding them yourself
In order to be able to answer all these questions and provide the children with ideal support on their excursions into nature, our guides are trained with a focus on animal and nature education and regularly take part in further and advanced training. They can give competent and child-friendly answers or simply tell a suitable story. They help children to discover the world around them, to question the seemingly self-evident and to learn a sustainable approach to nature. Without any finger-wagging, but with lots of fun, imagination and a love of discovery.
“The aim of education is not to increase knowledge, but to create opportunities for the child to invent and discover, to produce people who are capable of doing new things.” (Jean Piaget)
Photos by Gabby Orcutt, Vitolda Klein and Markus Spiske via unsplash, many thanks!