Winter 2022
A student in Guilford Central School Pre-K waiting for birds.
“The cold months settle into our state as a gradual clarification. Winter holds up objects in high relief — boulders sealed in globes of ice, strawberry-colored blades of grass twisted through the frozen lacework at a pond's edge-for our most careful regard. It invites us to be still and cool, to let one curve, one color truly enter the mind.”
-John Elder, Reading the Mountains of Home

Child's Perspective

We’re making a snowman as big as we can! Put the snowball in snow in the sun to make the snow stick. The sunny snow is shiny. The shininess makes the snow stick.
-Students at North Branch Nature Center Forest Preschool
Read more about snowball science in our blog next week

Ideas for Families in Winter

David Sobel has identified seven play motifs, or recurring play patterns, observing children playing freely in natural areas around the world. Read more here.
Adventure: Follow tracks through the snow and try to move like that animal - can you bound like a slinky mink, or walk across a log like a balancing bobcat? Look here for inspiration on how to move like different animals.
Fantasy and Imagination: Make a snow puppet theater and put on a show! Try sculpting snow on a stick for your puppets.
Animal Allies: Transform yourself into an otter and slide on your belly down a hill. Like us, otters slide again and again down the same slope, just for fun!
Maps and Paths: Stomp or shovel a maze through the snow. Put a little treasure at the end for others to find.
Special Places: Revamp a stick fort into a secure beaver lodge to spend the winter, include a vent on top for air exchange and a secret entrance so it’s secure from coyotes!
Small Worlds: Paint a special rock to be your curled up sleeping chipmunk. Make a special snug den for your chipmunk to spend the winter - make sure there is stored food and a bathroom!
Hunting and Gathering: Become a gray squirrel and hide away food (for example use: acorns, cones, sunflower seeds) for winter. How many can you remember and find the next day?

Natural History Mystery

Try to read this story left in the snowy woods, about five feet from a tree.
The mystery is unveiled in our blog today.


Awe-inspiring encounters with nature can foster social connection, such as increasing attention to others and enhancing tendencies to help others.
Read more here.

A Place to Ramble

Explore the woods, pond, and ice formations around Devil’s Gulch in Eden.
Read more here.
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