Everyone has arrived to see our kindy refreshed with some of our areas moved around and new Ortex installed on the walls which has given our interior a lovely fresh look... and of course the teachers rested and rearing to go.
We had an unexpected visitor to our kindergarten - the children discovered a little baby hedgehog gnawing on a bone on the grass just outside the fence. We all agreed it was so unusual to see hedgehogs out during the day and we wondered why he was there. Some of the children had ideas about why he came to kindergarten ... "Maybe he's lost"... "he's hungry"... "he cant find his mum"... were some of the suggestions.
The children thought we should offer him some silver beet, but he was more interested in gnawing on the bone.
Later after the children had all gone home, the little hedgehog reappeared to visit with Flekkie, our guinea pig and he seemed very interested in the guinea pig food. So we put a little food and water out to see if he would like it. He closed his eyes when we came close, then he sniffed the food and trotted off to investigate the sandpit while the children weren't there. Maybe he will come back again later.
Its amazing the little creatures we find visiting us in our environment and it adds to some wonderful potential for conversations with children and perhaps some further investigations.
We will keep you posted as we find our more about what children know about hedgehogs, and why they think he came out during the day?!
Further investigations to our Hedgehog Howdee do...
We have had lots of discussion during morning meeting about hedgehogs and it seems almost everyone has had an encounter with one at some stage.
Isabella - I have seen one at my Grandma's house
Juani - I found one too! (very excitedly)
Erin - A hedgehog came to my house and Nathan saw it and it was digging a hole.
Hayley - I saw one, it was sleeping and it was a really big one!
Chrissy explained that it came to visit again after all the children had gone home and when we took a photo the hedgehog closed is eyes. Why did it do this?
Mitchell - Maybe it was sleeping.
The teachers introduce the word 'Hibernation' to support the idea of hedgehogs sleeping.
Juani continued the discussion by suggesting that hedgehogs maybe they dig holes to live in. Many children think they use their claws.
Are hedgehogs claws big enough to dig holes?
Mitchell adds "Maybe they have to find a hole first and then they use the hole and then they still have to dig a little bit."
Juani says "Another hedgehog helps to dig. Hedgehogs dig holes like a spade and go underneath."
The children were invited to draw their ideas about hedgehogs, and the ideas keep on flowing...
Finley - They go in a ball when they sleep.
Tiana - Its like a guinea pig but they live in a cage and hedgehogs live in a hole in the grass.
Henry - He has little ears. He can hear music when its really loud.
Elijah - I saw some hedgehogs in the wild area. Lets go look!
So off we ventured on our hedge hog hunt!
We took a little walk outside the fence and looked around the garden on the outside of the kindergarten
Baron calls out - "Hedging Hog! Where are you Hedging Hog!!"
We were very lucky to actually find one of our old concrete garden ornament hedgehogs - what luck!!
(amongst other things...)
The search continues inside the kindergarten wild area... under the sandpit shed
along the path way...
and under the bridge
Later in the morning we decided to search on the Ipad for more information about hedgehogs.
We looked on Youtube and typed in 'hedgehog facts for children' and up popped the Nature Series of Hedgehog facts, a short little video of easy to understand information. Try it out at home.
The children are continuing their active exploration of hedgehogs with daily hedgehog hunting expeditions, drawing and in our morning discussions. They are developing their own theories and understanding about the life, habits and habitats of hedgehogs. They are using a variety of ways to find out their information, but I have a feeling this is only the beginning of this investigation. Every day somebody arrives at kindergarten with a new tale to tell about seeing a hedgehog in their garden.
I cant wait to see what will happen next!