Preschool Explorers Learn About the Water Cycle at Sylvan Gardens

Reflections by Naturalist & Walk Leader Andrea Higgins
Photos courtesy of HCT volunteer photographer Gerry Beetham

Preschool Explorers and their caregivers gathered at Sylvan Gardens in Chatham to enjoy the sunshine, bright blue skies, and warm temperatures this morning. Blooming flowers all around perfumed the gentle breezes and songbirds serenaded us with their delicate melodies. Snowdrop flowers decorated the trailside with delicate white and green petals.

We arrived at a bench and settled in for our first story of the day, Nature Stories: Little Raindrop by Melanie Joyce. I was so excited to have found this precious book to share with our Explorers as it seamlessly intertwines education and entertainment while following a raindrop’s journey through the water cycle. At another bench further down the trail, we continued our water cycle learning with a reading of I Like Rain by Sarah Nelson. This fun story with lyrical, rhyming text and playful, hand-painted illustrations introduces young readers to STEM learning.

Art mats were nestled on a hillside just above a patch of bright yellow daffodils swaying in the breeze. I passed around copies of a water cycle illustration along with crayons and markers for decorating.

Next, we followed along to a water cycle-themed song and dance. Returning to our art mats with renewed inspiration, we crafted a cloud decorated with raindrops using recycled cardboard tubes, cotton balls, yarn, and ample amounts of glue.

For Explorers who finished their artwork early, there was a selection of rain-themed books to peruse. Once the last of the cotton balls were secured and creations were completed, we set off on the next phase of our exploration.

The group decided to bring their rainclouds for the walk. Using our imaginations, we pretended that an unexpected weather change brought a Nor’easter into the gardens. With our cotton ball clouds in hand, we ran around in circles excited for the chance to move and zoom, with youngsters giggling away.

Once the “storm” had passed, we continued on our wonder wander. To our delight we heard red-winged blackbirds singing away near the edge of the path. A nearby stump made for a perfect make-believe ship for Explorers to sail through the fields of flowers and across the ponds.

Bright yellow daffodils and shrubs with pink and white blossoms decorated the trails on our return journey. Thank you for sharing your morning with me. I am so excited for our next adventure!

Happy Exploring.


Ms. Andrea