The Mont Seniors /K2 students were very excited to travel by school bus on an expedition to the “Red Soil Nature Play” at Kachamaranahalli, Varthur. We had been looking forward to this trip for almost a month.
It was interesting to know that there was no structured plan/activity, but we had ‘free play’; no restrictions like no plucking flowers, leaves, etc. Children were free to explore the place in their style.
Children walked through a maze. It was an excellent body-balancing activity. They recognized bamboo trees, custard apple trees, touch me, not plants, and fig trees. We climbed the rocks, collected pebbles, and drew on mud using sticks.
Children had hands-on activities with kitchen vessels and grinding stones. They weighed different weights using the weighing scale. We had a pretend play – Students served me corn soup, tomato soup, coffee, etc.
We had lots of fun running inside the tunnel; students realized their voices were echoing when they spoke. They also played on the giant slide and the xylophone.
It was even more thrilling when we went into the mud pool. At first, we were apprehensive about getting into the pool because of the weather. Still, once the children got into it, they enjoyed it and used words like ‘squishy’ and ‘squashy’ to describe the feeling while walking in the mud pool. Feeling the mud between my toes and splashing through the muddy puddle was relaxing.
We finally splashed ourselves in the water tub, where all the mud on our feet was washed away. Students jumped up and down and splashed water on each other.
Students learn everything through their senses. It was indeed a pleasant day spent in nature.
A. Monisha Margret
Early years Montessori facilitator