Wandering Wednesday #1

Student experiencing play-based learning on the beach in Chicago's Northshore It was a wonderful Wandering Wednesday!

Our first adventure was everything we hoped it would be! We gathered in the morning to greet one another, to talk about what to expect for the day, to use the potty, and to read a book about the joy of being outdoors.  We walked over to Lighthouse Beach with much excitement and anticipation for Wandering Wednesday #1.

Once we arrived we set the fire circle as our home base, and walked the perimeter of our adventure area.  We played all throughout the dunes and the woods for the entire morning.  Kids were immersed in free-play, exploration, climbing, imaginative play, hide and seek, building, and discovery – all part of Baker’s unique approach to learning. Throughout the morning, each child wandered back to the fire circle (sometimes multiple times) for a snack or drink or potty break, just to run back into the woods for more adventure.  One teacher always stayed at the fire ring, providing opportunities for assistance and great conversation.

Overheard throughout our time together:

“I found a secret path and then I came back”

“Look at this gian root”

“We found a secret training course”

“It’s just not that sturdy”

“I’m hungry”

“There’s a big hole on the tree”

“We are making a treehouse”

“I found a new running place”

“We are making a house for the bugs”

“The trees clean our air, then they let the air out for people to breathe”

“We found black chalk”

“We’re just really wondering what this is!”

“I found a rock that looks like it sparkles”

“It’s just a little long walk to the secret hideout”

“Let’s be hunters!”

“I opened a bakery. We have sand cupcakes, sand cake, and sand pie”

“We know the way back!”

“He’s a fire-breaking dragon”

Isn’t it amazing that so many different things were happening all at once. It’s the wonder of the woods!

Remember that we were in the forest, so definitely check for ticks tonight (just to be sure).  As some of you may have already noticed, being in the woods means some bumps and bruises and minor scratches.   We did have some of those today, but everyone recovered well and made the most of their day! Thank you all for being so open to this outside-the-school idea!

Student experiencing play-based learning on the beach in Chicago's Northshore