November started off with the first truly cold air of the season. We made cider and tea in the mornings and warmed up listening to stories around the fire. We found lots of ice in the mud kitchen in our pots and pans that had water left in them overnight. We enjoyed breaking up the ice with mallets and hammers. The cold didn't last though and it warmed up quite a bit. We went out exploring on the warm, sunny days and found some magical spots in the forest where large trees had fallen and we spent lots of time in dramatic play, climbing, hiding in forts, making paint, and collecting kindling.
We found some really big sycamore leaves that we made into masks. We've been working on identifying leaf shapes including sugar maple, white and red oak, poplar, beech, and ginkgo. The ginkgo tree by the house shed all of its bright yellow leaves in one day, and since then we've been noticing their unique texture and collecting buckets full of them to use in our potions and pretend soups at the mud kitchen. We also did some crayon rubbings of various leaves that we found.
We've been really fond of digging holes and tunnels in the mud with shovels, spades and the backs of hammers. We mixed paint and glue to make a colorful mortar for sticking pieces of wood together and making towers at the work bench. Some of our favorite games this month have been howl and seek, the tree blindfold game, and capture the flag. The last few days of class were very windy so we've been flying a kite!