Hi there. My name is Bela Ferreira and I’m a Land-based learning support educator in Seven Oaks School Division. I’ve been teaching for 10 years, and have always engaged with my students in outdoor learning.
The Manitoba Nature Summit has always provided some amazing resources and workshops and I wanted to be part of the committee to be able to support the organization in their future endeavours. My favourite part of being in nature is connecting all of my senses to what’s around me.
My name is Sara MacPherson. I am an ECE II and have been in the field for 11 years. I joined the Nature Summit because I have a love for the outdoors and want to help other educators bring their love for the outdoors to their centres and classrooms. I feel like all children should have the opportunity to explore and learn about nature and the world around them.
In my spare time, I love hanging out with my friends and family and going camping with my husband and 2 daughters.
My name is Kim Rondeau. I am an ECE II and have been in the childcare field for over 20 years. I joined the nature summit committee because I believe that being in touch with nature is important for the mind, body and spirit. Some of my favourite hobbies include; camping, fishing, swimming at the lake, gardening, hiking, sitting around a fire and star gazing. I have a love for learning, trying new things, and interacting with everything that nature has to offer.
Hi! My name is Sherryll and I am a Site Leader at Freight House Early Learning & Care. I’ve been in the field for over 30 years. I joined the MNS committee 2 years ago and am so excited to be part of my first Fall Summit! My favourite part of nature is seeing the wonderment through the children’s eyes and dreaming of living like a fairy amongst the peacefulness of the forest.
We are excited to announce the 2022 Manitoba Nature Summit this fall on October 13, 14 & 15 at Camp Assiniboia- 2220 Lido Plage Road, 5 minutes past the perimeter near Beaudry Park! We are making a call out for workshop proposals (below) so if you have an outdoor skill or inspiration that you think will help other educators to take their children outside and help them develop a relationship to the land- please submit a proposal. Keep reading for more info:
Manitoba Nature Summit is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides opportunities for educators to learn about nature, alleviate fears, and pass a renewed sense of wonder on to the children in their lives. We aim to engage educators in the outdoors and give them the inspiration and confidence to foster creativity, adventure, and an appreciation of the natural world in their students.
Proposals are currently being accepted for Manitoba Nature Summit 2022 which will take place October 13, 14 & 15, 2022 at Camp Assiniboia. Could you offer a workshop that would inspire educators in the out-of-doors? Preference will be given to facilitators who maximize outdoor time in their workshops and the use of Powerpoint-type or AV presentations is strongly discouraged. Workshops should be hands-on, interactive and experiential.
Our goal is to provide workshops for educators that are hands on and develop concrete skills that they can use to get children outside. Topics can range from birding, fishing, geocaching, art, drama, music to orienteering, outdoor cooking, wild crafting, tree climbing, group games, risk assessment, forest school, and much more!
Workshops can be half day (2 hours in the morning or 2 hours in the afternoon) or full day (4 hours + lunch break). Preference will be given to facilitators willing to provide a full day workshop or two half day workshops (one half day workshop repeated). Each workshop should be able to accommodate 20-25 participants. Workshops will be held on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15.
Some activities may fall outside of the official workshop time. For example: early morning yoga, night hike, evening sit spot time, star stories, campfire storytelling/singing etc. If you are interested in facilitating an evening or morning event, please fill out a proposal form as well.
Please carefully answer all the questions on the following form. Save the completed workshop proposal as a new file by replacing ‘NatureSummit’ with your name in the file name. (e.g. WorkshopProposal2022-YourName.doc) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please be sure to include a photo along with your workshop proposal (facilitator photos are posted with workshop descriptions on our website). Our committee members are volunteers with limited time to hunt for additional/missing information – incomplete proposals may not be considered.
This is our first Summit since 2018 and we want to make it extra special! Space is limited – get your proposal in ASAP. Deadline for proposals was June 24th, 2022 – but is NOW CLOSED.
Manitoba Nature Summit invites you to join us around the virtual campfire for a series of free, hands-on workshops supporting outdoor winter learning. Gain resources, connections, and inspiration for getting out in the cold and staying safe.
Join us via ZOOM at any time during the event. Click Here or use link at bottom of the page.
11:00AM to 11:15 AM
Brief Welcome, Housekeeping, and Intro from Host(s)
Kayla and Host
11:15 AM to 11:45 AM
Tips for Safe Winter Learning
11:45 AM to 12:15 PM
Winter Detectives: Finding Evidence of Animals in the Snow
12:15 PM to 12:30PM
Campfire Break – Network, Have a Snack, and Discuss the Winter Calendar Challenge
Host and Committee Members
12:30PM to 1:00 PM
1:00 PM to 1:15 PM
Snowflake Identification with Children
1:15 PM to 1:45 PM.
1:45 PM to 2:00 PM
Campfire Break – Network, Share, and Discuss the Winter Calendar Challenge
Meeting ID: 890 7936 2833 Passcode: 0A$20h54 One tap mobile +19292056099,,89079362833#,,,,*82355224# US (New York) +12532158782,,89079362833#,,,,*82355224# US (Tacoma)
Dial by your location +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 890 7936 2833 Passcode: 82355224 Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/krllD0GNX
We’ve all heard there’s “no such thing as inappropriate weather only inappropriate clothing” and we know that during a pandemic the best spot for children to be is outside. However, this knowledge doesn’t help get a group of ten 3 year old children into their snow pants and out the door without a meltdown- does it?
Therefore we’ve assembled some tips from the pros for you to use as resources so that you can spend your winter building epic snow forts rather than in an epic stand off over wearing mittens..
Go outside everyday! It sounds like an over-simplification, but routine is key.
There are days where the weather is so inclement that it will impede quality play- but I encourage you to dress up, go outside, and test it out- instead of relying on notoriously unreliable weather apps to decide your day. Also, it’s a fact that weather always looks more daunting from the inside. As soon as you open the door to staying in you set a precedent for leaving your proper clothing at home or watching more videos. Absolutely come inside if the weather is hazardous (lightening, high winds knocking branches off etc.) but most inclement weather can be mitigated (do a risk/benefit assessment if you are worried) and 10 minutes outside is better than 0 minutes.
This post is coming at you from Winnipeg (aka Winterpeg) Canada where we have -30 Celsius temps in the winter and +30 Celsius temps in the summer and still we manage to take young children outdoors for hours at a time safely, and happily and with proper clothing- you can too! In fact there are Forest School programs in Yellowknife, Alaska and plenty of other cold places.
Create a culture of outdoor play in any weather! Whether it’s for your family or your classroom, make sure you are setting an expectation from the get-go that you play outside in all weathers. Change how you talk about the weather so that you are always using positive language. Include outdoor play in all weathers in your job descriptions and policy manuals. Post photos of happy people playing in the rain, mud and snow. Read books about playing out in all weathers. Turn interesting weather into a challenge and an adventure rather than an impediment.
I was once on a walking trip to the library with a group of 5 year old children, when a surprise black cloud blew up as we were halfway between the library and home. Without much warning, small hail (we call it sleet) started coming down from the cloud and we rushed to huddle together under a tree. It wasn’t hazardous, but the small pieces of ice hitting our faces did sting! It lasted only a few minutes, but it became the kindergarten classes favourite part of the whole trip- in spite of the lovely story time and magic show at the library. The children talked about this event for weeks.
Now some of you are saying: “Why are they encouraging people to do dangerous things like playing outside in extreme weather?!?” Just as one person’s garbage is another’s treasure- one person’s inclement weather is another’s lovely day. Here in Canada, we all know someone who wears flip-flops and shorts when the weather is -5 Celcius (brrrr). However, people have been living safely in places with extreme temperatures for all of human history and before there was goretex, merino wool and A/C units. So probably, children can manage to go outside for 30 minutes of active play even if there is a windchill.
It’s all about your layers. Dressing appropriately is not about expensive, designer gear- but rather about having a good base layer (spoiler alert- not cotton) and a variety of easy to remove upper layers. This is because, dressing too warmly, can cause you to sweat and sweat is the enemy of staying warm. Sometimes as adults we worry about our children and try to compensate by dressing them super warm, forgetting that they are likely to be 3 times as active as we are. Too warm clothing can be bulky and impede play in addition to causing sweat. If you’d like to know more about appropriate layers I recommend this blog by Momenta, this video guide on how to dress for Forest School, and this guest blog by Jasmine Nault who plays outside with children in Thompson, Manitoba.
Foster Independence. Allow children to remove or wear outdoor clothing when it is safe to do so. Teach them how do their own risk assessment (according to their developmental level). Teach them the signs of frost bite and hypothermia and ways to mitigate it. Use science not fear in your explanation. This will eliminate the stressful standoff when it’s time to dress for the outdoors. A reasonable and natural consequence for not dressing appropriately is that you have to interrupt your play and go inside. Or sometimes, when it’s safe, it’s that you have to wear wet pants until everyone else is ready to go indoors. Always treat children as though they are capable and competent and they will be happy to play outside.
Find ways for your children to become self-sufficient in their dressing:
Allow enough time. If you in a rush, you will feel stressed and so will the children.
Think of dressing as it’s own valuable activity rather than something that is eating into time for a better activity
Make it fun: sing a song, play a game, be silly, enjoy the journey.
Use a visual poster so children know what to put on next.
Dress a stuffed animal or a doll in outdoor winter clothing so children can practice zippers and snaps and order of dressing.
Encourage teamwork! It’s so much easier to do up someone else’s zipper than your own. Children can help each other with their mittens and boots.
Gloves are never as warm as mittens. If your child absolutely insists on gloves have a back up set of mittens or you’ll never be able to stay out for more than 20 minutes
Make winter fun! Most traditional playground equipment loses it’s functionality during the winter. Luckily snow is the original loose part and with a little effort your children will be eager to play out in the winter.
Sleds- if you don’t have a hill tie a short rope to the sled so children can pull each other. Sled rides are great for infants and toddlers who have difficulties moving around in the snow.
Shovels and buckets for digging and building
Make a “snow kitchen“- just like a mud kitchen but with snow
Ask your friendly-neighbourhood tractor owner to make a snow hill for you