Enchanted Forest: Fairies, Dragons, and Drama!
Since Enchanted Forest class began in September, we’ve explored the forest – real and imagined – through field trips and in-class exploration. With each class, we learn about a new mythological creature: recently, unicorns, fairies, and dragons have all made appearances!
Before I left for Iceland the last week of September, Cali, Eliza and I headed out into the Endowment Lands in search of the notoriously hard-to-find unicorn. We looked under rocks, peered into treetops, and peeked behind bushes to no avail. After reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Uni the Unicorn, Cali and Eliza decided to build a home for the unicorn out of branches, leaves, and stones. Will a unicorn appear next time we visit? We’ll soon find out, when we head back to the Endowment Lands on November 1st!
After unicorns, we sought out another mysterious creature: the forest fairy! We searched in flowerbeds, amongst tree leaves, and underneath mushroom caps… and found fairies almost everywhere! While reading the lovely pop-up book How to Find Flower Fairies, by Cicely Mary Barker, we learned to look for the tell-tale signs that a fairy is nearby. With every rustling branch and each flash of light, the fairies let their presence be known. The kids, led by Ruby, a formidable fairy-finder, had a great time during their search. In fact, they were so thorough that we barely made it back to Buddings in time for snack!
After finding fairies, we moved on to hunting dragons. I couldn’t help but share my favourite children’s story, Robert Munsch’s classic The Paperbag Princess. The children helped with a dramatic re-telling of the story, each taking a turn as the infamous dragon. They breathed out their fiery breath, flew around the world at record-speed, and then fell into a deep (pretend) sleep! Emily, the oldest and wisest of the bunch, remained firmly in the role of Princess Elizabeth throughout: a feminist hero for the ages! After the drama’s finale, the kids made dragons of their own…they even breathe fire! Emily, dedicated to her role, made a princess crown…and it couldn’t have been a more perfect fit.
Wednesday’s Big Kids Club Enchanted Forest Class is a gateway into a mystical, magical woodland world. We explore the fantastical side of the forest through literature, art, and dramatic play, coupled with real-life forest excursions that spark curiosity and imagination. When children engage in dramatic play, they build skills in many developmental areas. Pretending gives them an opportunity to experiment with the different social and emotional roles life brings in a safe, nurturing environment. They build self-esteem with the knowledge that they can be anything by simply pretending!
Join us on Wednesday afternoons from 1- 4pm to get in on the fun and the benefits of play-based learning!