About 4 years ago, preschool enjoyed visiting a beaver working site. The beavers had built a dam across a creek about 10 feet long. We were not sure about their lodge, but it was so fun to visit and see the shavings around stumps where they had gnawed. C.E's parent informed me that there is a new beaver site by a nearby creek. Where the creek meets South Toe River you could see the trees marked by the work of beavers. How long did it take to cut down the trees? Where did they take the trees? There were many questions to answer. We also wonder if beavers would sharpen our coloring pencils.
Beavers are supposed to be active building dams in fall so that they can store their food under the lodge for the winter. Beavers eat the leaves, inner bark, and twigs of aspen (a favorite food), alder, birch, cottonwood, willow, and other deciduous trees. Beavers also eat shrubs, ferns, aquatic plants, grasses, and crops, including corn and beans.
On the same day C.E. brought the woodchips gnawed by beavers for Show and Tell, A. brought her tooth that she accidentally broke when she fell off a step stool. We passed around woodchips with beaver's toothmark and a human tooth that was white and had a long root. Bob Johnson in Celo said once he found a beaver tooth. I had to ask him if it were orange because C.E. and O.F. who have been studying about beavers informed me that a beaver tooth is orange due to high iron content. Bob said it was indeed orange, and it curved like a hook because beavers keep growing their teeth as it gets worn from using. How convenient if our teeth can keep growing as needed!
Very unfortunately, about three weeks ago, one of preschool assistant teachers, Peg fell and broke her wrist. Peg showed children her big cast that went all the way to her forearm to stabilize her wrist movement. We had to learn to hold Peg's hand very gently at circle time.
As it is introduced by Waldorf education during the first week of December I have been thinking about tooth and bones which are both minerals. For some reason, children started to play with shells at preschool too. When we do our footbath after a cold walk, we have a salt block (which is another familiar mineral) that Amanda gave us to rub back of our feet. How interesting that without any effort, the presence of minerals seem to surround the children already. We are thankful for the minerals on our planet which support and give us structures. Hopefully no more broken bones and teeth for a long time.