Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bug Hunting in Fiordland

Bug hunting was on the agenda today, so down to the pines we wandered.  In a log we found a huhu grub that was beginning to change into a beetle.  It was all white and hardly moved the whole time we studied it.  The children were amazed to find that it was changing without being a cocoon like a caterpillar.  Next someone found an interesting white bug that had us searching our insect books, we still don't know what type of bug it is so more research will have be done at Kindergarten!!  Back to the shed and there were still more bugs to find. No log or piece of wood was left unturned.  What an exciting day.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The missing mouse

Monday we found a dead mouse, everyone was excited!  We studied his tiny little claws, teeth and whiskers.  Then came the discussion what do to this mouse.  EsmÄ“ was fascinated with the mouse and wouldn't let it out of her sight it was her that came up this the idea to bury it.  Off we went to find a good place to put the mouse to rest.  One of the other children remembered that last week they had buried a weasel and thought we could put the mouse beside him.  Everyone agreed and so of we went to find the spot.  Once there the digging started.  We found a nice piece of bark to sit the mouse on and EsmÄ“ decorated him with coloured leaves off the gum trees.  It was decided to cover him with a stone so we could come back and look at him without having to dig him up.  Everyone was happy.  On Wednesday the second Nature Discovery group, who had heard about the mouse wanted to go and have a look.  Off we went.  From the photos we found the spot and the stone he was under.  We lifted the stone and... the mouse was gone!! What happened to mouse?  Lots of theories were discussed and it was called the great mouse mystery.  The investigation has started.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Reflection Lake Henry Fiordland

Today was and absolutely beautiful day at the park.  The children took time to study the reflections in the water of Lake Henry. 
Ben said "The water was flat I could see the fish.  There was red from the trees.  I could see my face.  That's it my head's ran out!"

Zack looking at his reflection.
"I looked in the lake and I saw me -  the water was still"

"I was looking in there because I wanted to see if there were any fish and because I was leaning in there I could see some sparkling stuff and I could see my dog hat and the colour of it - my reflection.  The water was very smooth." said Lily
Sasha said " I could see the trees, it is like glass.  I could see me and Lily."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A day of discoveries

A day of discoveries today, we discovered bones, a big weta, a massive hole, a big tree for us all to fit in, a new track and that too much flame can burn your damper.  We also learnt that marshmallows melt beautifully in hot damper and sticks make great tools for measuring.  So many wonderful discoveries in one day and so many more to come.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stoat traps in Fiordland

Wednesday 26th February

While we were exploring the "Spooky Trail" we discovered 3 stoat traps.

Ben said, " We found an egg in the stoat trap.  I used a torch for to see what was inside the trap.  We went and see'd another stoat trap and we found a rat, it was dead. We walked and walked till we found a stoat trap, we checked it and we looked and looked till  we found all of them - there were three."

Neve's Story
"We found 3 stoat traps in the Spooky Trail.  There were eggs in the stoat traps.  One had a rat in the stoat trap.  We used a torch to look in the stoat trap because we wanted to see the rat."

 Lexi's Story:
"We saw some eggs in a stoat trap. One trap had a rat.  We have traps because there are stoats and they eat the eggs of the fantail.  We used a torch because we can't see the egg in the stoat trap."

Zack's Story, " We found 3 stoat traps in the Spooky Forest.  There were eggs in them but one was a rat.  He was dead.  We don't want them here because we don't want them to eat eggs - bird's eggs.  Dad put stoat traps in the forest because to keep stoats away."

The children were very excited that we had found a rat as, along with stoats,  they know what a danger they are to our precious native birds.  They are very protective of our birds and understand that to keep our birds alive it is important that these predators need to be killed in traps.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Common skink/ mokomoko marea

As part of our involvement with Kids Restore the Kepler we have been studying meet the locals.  This week it was the common skink.  We have found out that skinks are reptiles and are cold blooded.  This means that they cannot move fast or digest food if they are cold.  The common skink needs to bask in the sun to warm itself up before it goes hunting for insects.
Skinks and geckos can drop their tails if attacked by a predator.  While the predator is distracted by the still-wriggling tail, the skink can escape.
Most of the world’s skinks lay eggs, but New Zealand skinks give birth to babies instead.   Baby common skinks are just 2.5 cm long from snout to tail tip.  Adult skinks can grow to 14 cm long.
Skinks need: stones to bask on, long grass to hide in and insects to eat.  Skinks also eat small berries and drink nectar from flowers. 

At Nature Discovery today Mrs Shaw said she would try and find a skink by the jumping rocks where we often find them, try and catch it and take it back to Kindergarten to show the rest of the children.
 We were very excited when Mrs Shaw turned over a rock and there was one, we had a container especially for it, and with the help of Moretta (Will's Mum) we caught it and put it in the container.  But not before it bit Moretta on her hand.

Will "When we caught it, it was scared.  It really wanted to go back under the rock.  It bit my Mum's hand.
Zack "I like it's colours.  It likes to eat spiders.  It like to live under rocks.  It's warm under the rocks."
Ruby "We found the skink at the jumping rocks. I liked looking at it, I like it's colours."
Bailey "We caught spiders and bugs for his food.  It likes spiders and plants. I like her colours"
Ben "It bited Will's Mum, we brang it to Kindergarten to show all the other kids.  He can move fast and hide".
Sasha "We found it at the jumping rocks.  It was hiding under the rocks.  I like its eyes"
Neve "It bit Moretta because she catched it.  I like its colours,. It eats spiders".
Lexi "It was at the jumping rocks.  Will's Mum caught it and it bit her.  It likes rocks because they get hot. The tails breaks if something tries to eat it."
Lily "We moved a rock and we saw a skink.  We got it and the skink bit her hand and then we took it to kindy.  Mrs shaw went round and round with the skink so everyone could see it.  I like the stripes on its back.  It is beautiful."
Libby "We find the skinks at the jumping rocks. They are hiding.  They like to eat plants and insects.  If a cat tries to eat it, its tail comes off and they grows another tail."
Iris "They are long and they have four legs. I like the stripes of them."
Jazz  "We find them at Nature Discovery.  Skinks have a head and four legs.  They eat worms.  I like the brown and black colours."
Hayden "They live under rocks.  Because they like to keep warm. I like his stripes".

Some of the children from Te anau Primary were up at the park too, and as Mrs Shaw knew they were learning about skinks too, so she took it to show them.  Later that afternoon the skink visited the school for everyone to see.
Mrs Shaw put him in the storeroom where it was cool and dark for the night.
The next day at Welcome Time we sat in a big circle and Mrs Shaw took him around for us all to see.  In the afternoon the teachers took him back to the jumping rocks-his home.  He will be happy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

After exploring bugs, climbing trees and playing in the mud the children wanted story.  The story of the day was the Three Little Pigs.  We decided to make the houses out of things we could find in the park.  Grass for the straw house, sticks for the stick house and mud for the brick house.  Little pine cones were used for the pigs and a big pine cone for the wolf and so the story began.  This story wasn't the traditional story as everyone added their own twist it was the best story I have heard.  Later back at the shed while sitting around the camp fire we talked about what was our favourite thing that happened today, for many it was making the houses and telling the story.  Story time is always magical.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today was our first day back at Nature Discovery after the Christmas break and what a day it was.  We visited some of our favourite spots like shady hollow and the Gnuff house.  The first job we had to do was check the rain gauge and after all the rain we have had over the holidays Jake discovered it was quite fill.  At the Gnuff house there was a nice surprise waiting for us, Kirsty from Busy Bodies was there with her children and her two dogs.  We all had a great time catching up and practicing our balancing skills on the tree logs.  Next it was off to the lake to see if we could spot the baby ducklings we discovered last year.  Two female ducks came to say hello and a wee while later one baby duck came to join the party.  The children notice how much he had grown but there were lots of questions about where the other ones were, hopefully next time we go we might spot some more.