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Home Sweet Home: Build or install a nest box this spring! Here’s a great spring activity to try at home or at school. Nest
Songs, Rhymes and Books for Winter Months
Kate Jarrett, our favourite early years minstrel, has shared some of her favourite material for celebrating the snowy months. How about a rousing chorus of ‘Hibernation’ (sung to the tune of Alouette):
Hibernation (tune: Alouette)
Chorus: Hibernation, time for hibernation
Hibernation, time to go to sleep
Where oh where is little bear?
Sleeping in his den or lair
Where is bear? Den or lair
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Where oh where is little frog?
Sleeping in a pond or log
Where is frog? Pond or log
Where is bear? Den or lair
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Where oh where is little snake?
In the mud beneath the lake
Where is snake? Beneath the lake
Where is frog? Pond or log
Where is bear? Den or lair
The Sky is Dark (Clyde Watson)
The sky is dark, there blows a storm
The fire is hot, our cider is warm
The snow is deep, the night is long
Old Father Fox, won’t you sing us a song
Winter is Cold
Winter is cold, there is snow in the sky
Squirrels gather nuts, and the wild geese fly
The fluffy red fox has his fur to keep warm
The bear’s in his cave, sleeping all through the storm
Snow on the Rooftops (Kathy Reid-Naiman)
Snow on the rooftops, snow on the trees
Snow on the green grass, snow on me
Snow on my mittens, snow on my nose
Snow on my head, and snow on my toes
Whirling, twirling, swirling down
Down and down and down and down
Winter Picture Books
(available from the Peterborough Public Library)
Bauer, Marion. Winter Dance
A fox watches other animals preparing for winter and wonders what he should do
Camper, Cathy. Ten Ways to Hear Snow
A young child helps her grandma who has lost her sight explore nature through listening.
Carlstrom, Nancy. Mama, Will It Snow Tonight?
Three mothers and their offspring – fox, hare, and human wait for the first snow of winter.
Gershaton, Phillis. When It Starts to Snow
Various animals tell what they do and where they go when it starts to snow.
Holler, Sue. Raven, Rabbit, Deer
A grandfather teaches his grandson how to identify a number of animals tracks with Ojibwemowin names.
McGrath, Jennifer. The Snow Knows
Introduces readers to animals both domestic and wild, celebrating wilderness and outdoor play.
Messner, Kate. Over and Under the Snow
Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter’s snowy landscape.
Sayre, April. Best in Snow
A photographic non-fiction picture book about the wonder of snowfall and the winter water cycle.
Stewart, Melissa. Under the Snow
A look at the amazing ways animals behave and interact with their environments on a snowy day.
Thornhill, Jan. Winter’s Coming
A young snowshoe hare hears that winter is coming – but who, or what is winter?
Yeomans, Ellen. Some Snow Is…
Celebrates all the different kinds of snow – from melting to packable!
Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon.
A father and daughter trek into the woods to see a Great Horned Owl under a winter full moon.
Kim’s Winter Activity Guide
As winter approaches you might be wondering how you can best get out and enjoy the season. Our Outdoor Activity Consultant, Kim, has curated a list of local events and activities that will have you bundling up and falling in love with winter all over again.
These activities connect with so many Pathway Landmarks, from Landmark 1(Explore outdoors together), to Landmark 11, 14 and 17 which all encourage you to try different kinds of outdoor recreation that don’t require gasoline or electricity.
There’s so much to do in Peterborough and surrounding areas this winter.
The City of Peterborough has plenty of neighbourhood outdoor rinks including Cameron Street Park, Dixon Park, Earlwood Park, Golfview Park, Hastings Park, Kiwanis Park, Nicholls Park, Northland Park, Mapleridge Park, Poplar Park, Stenson Park, Turner Park, and University Heights.
Rinks are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (weather and ice conditions permit)
The Peterborough Lift Lock
Park right on Armour Road, just south of Hunter Street, and get on the ice within a minute.
Make sure that you see the green flag flying over the canal before venturing onto the ice.
Quaker Foods Urban Park
The newest addition to Peterborough’s skating rinks is called ‘The Commons‘ area! It’s refrigerated and has lights for nighttime skating!
215 Charlotte Street St, Peterborough
Lakefield Speed Skating Oval
The park is open from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays and full days on weekends. Lessons are available. You’ll find it at 3358 Lakefield Road.
Tobogganing at Armour Hill
The legendary hill is in Ashburnham Memorial Park, on Armour Road where it meets Douro Street.
Cross Country Skiing
Kawartha Nordic Ski Club offers beautiful scenery along 46 kilometres of classic trails, 27 km for skate skiing, and 2 km for night skiing. There are also nine kilometres for snowshoeing. You can rent skis and snowshoes right on-site.
Address: 7107 Highway 28, Township of North Kawartha
Ski right in Peterborough in Jackson Park with the Peterborough Nordic Club
The groomed route begins at The Trans Canada Trail. The trail will be groomed west along the trail just before the 4th bridge at Atkinson Road. The groomed route is 4km in total.
Peterborough’s outdoor gym is in Beavermead Park. The 12 low-impact stations overlook Little Lake. Enter the park at 2011 Ashburnham Dr. and look for the gym near the volleyball court.
There are different fitness stations with several types of exercises, as well as standalone equipment such as a recumbent bike. The gym is also fully accessible for persons with disabilities. and includes a fitness station that accommodates wheelchairs.
Go Ice Fishing
Chemong Lake is a fisher’s paradise and is a great venue to introduce kids to this annual tradition. No licence is required during the family day weekend.
A half-day farm adventure for the family at Woolley Wonderland Farm in Lakehurst. It’s all outdoors with lots to do. Meet your favourite Frozen characters with Olaf and Elsa, join in the bonfire with hot chocolate, take a wagon or sleigh ride, and pet the miniature farm friends. This event runs until Jan 8.
Wanderlight Alpaca experiences run through the winter and offer you and your family a chance to meet alpacas and go for a walk with them. Wanderlight Alpaca is located at 874 Lynch’s Rock Road in Lakefield.
Don’t forget to also visit the animals at the Riverview Park and Zoo this winter. The zoo is located at 1300 Water St, Peterborough, and is open 8:30 a.m. until dusk.
Lakefield’s Polarfest February 3-5, 2023
PolarFest is an exciting family festival, offering something for everyone to enjoy!
Choose from activities including: Opening Ceremony with fireworks display, Snowman Building Challenge, Candlelight Skate, Ice Carvings, and for the brave the BEL Rotary Polar Plunge
Peterborough’s Snofest February 17-20, 2023
As part of this Snofest Event, meet outside in the Heritage Pavilion for a snowy Story Time in the Park with the Peterborough Public Library. After, warm up inside the Peterborough Museum. Do a simple craft, explore the galleries, and play with the many interactives. Feb 17, 10:30-11:00 and 2:00-4:00
See more of this year’s festivities by checking the Peterborough website for information.
Get Out and Play
The Peterborough Museum & Archives’ newest temporary exhibit Get Out and Play: Winter Sports in Peterborough will open on Saturday, December 10, and be on display until March 19, 2023.
Get Out and Play was developed in-house at the Peterborough Museum & Archives, using artifacts, archival images, and stories from its collections. Visitors will see skates, skis, a toboggan, and other winter sports equipment from days past. People can learn about the origins of some of their favourite winter sports, as well as the context of these sports and clubs at a local level
Family Literacy Day
Here is an event that’s fun for the whole family. This is a free event and families can get creative in the craft area, pick out a book and settle in to enjoy Paddling Puppeteer, Glen Caradus, and his puppet friends as they entertain us with songs and stories about the natural world. Family Literacy Day is taking place at Peterborough Square, on Saturday, January 28 from 9:30-12:00.
COMMON WINTER BIRDS OF PETERBOROUGH
Ever wonder what feathered friends in your neighbourhood stay here all winter? The winter months still offer a bright array of cheerful bird friends, and most of these will be happy to visit bird feeders. Can you find all 12 of these common winter birds of Peterborough? Use this free downloadable PDF as a checklist.
To learn more about these birds, check out the website, allaboutbirds.org
Schoolyard Report Card
Schoolyards are places for playing, socializing, exploring, and sharing the land with other living things. How would your schoolyard score if you gave it a report card?
The best schoolyards build health in many ways – healthy kids as well as a healthy environment. That means opportunities for active play, creative play, quiet reflection, social interaction and exploring the natural world. Many schools are beginning to see their schoolyard as a habitat – welcoming many plants and animals to share the space with the students. This also provides excellent opportunities for outdoor learning and building stewardship skills.
1. INTRODUCTORY VIDEO
Watch the video with your students to help you get started. It explores what we mean by a ‘habitat for people’ and a ‘habitat for wildlife.’ It showcases some projects from other schools to help get your ideas flowing!
These score sheets have grade-linked opportunities to explore your schoolyard using math, science and geography skills. Grades 3-6 will go out and measure the schoolyard and make maps of what they find. Grades 7-8 will begin by drawing their schoolyard from memory, then use satellite images to compare with their drawings, and create accurate basemaps.
Then, using the Score Sheets, students will evaluate their schoolyard on the basis of:
a) Habitat for People
b) Environmental Health
c) Habitat for Wildlife
Download the Schoolyard Score Card below to get started!
3. DISCUSSION AND FOLLOW-UP
How did your schoolyard score? Are there things that scored well? Are there opportunities for improvement? Can your class play a role in improving your schoolyard’s score?
The score cards provide suggestions on simple places to begin. Realizing that we can make positive changes in the world around us, and working together to do that, helps build hope, empowerment and leadership skills.
The Schoolyard Report Card is an activity that can build your classes’ Pathway Points and gives you an opportunity to win the monthly draw! Don’t forget to report what you’ve done on the Pathway website pathwayproject.ca
Download the Pathway Mobile App!
We are so excited you’re here and ready to download the Pathway web-based app.
The Pathway app was designed to help you log Landmarks with ease.
Below you will find instructions on how to install the APP on both Android and Apple IOS devices as well as the step-by-step instructions to log a Landmark.
PATHWAY ANDROID APP (DOWNLOAD IN CHROME)
This Android web-based app is downloadable through Chrome. On your mobile device, launch your Chrome browser to begin.
PATHWAY APPLE iOS APP (DOWNLOAD IN SAFARI)
This iOS web-based app is only downloadable through Safari. On your mobile device, launch your Safari browser to begin.
How to Log Your Landmark
- Click on the Pathway APP Icon
- Login to your account
3. Choose your Grade (Early Years, Middle Years, Intermediate, Senior Years)
4. Choose your Landmark
5. Enter Your Landmark Details (Date, Who Completed the Landmark, Age of Participants, and Activity Description)
6. Take or Upload a Photo
7. Choose if you would like your image published and Submit!
Win Monthly Prizes
There are 30 Landmarks to report and each entry automatically enters participants into the monthly prize draw for a $50 gift certificate to a local business.
Citizen Science Workshop
This comprehensive set of resources provides excellent support for teachers exploring water quality and aquatic ecosystems with intermediate-level classes. The workshop also introduces Pathway Landmark 22: ‘Become a Citizen Scientist by helping to monitor environmental health,’ which is geared to Grade 7-8 classes. The workshop is a partnership between Otonabee Conservation and the Pathway Project.
Ontario Curriculum Links:
Grade 7: Understanding Life Systems – Interactions in the Environment
Overall Expectations: 1. Assess the impacts of human activities and technologies on the environment, and evaluate ways of controlling these impacts; 2. Investigate interactions within the environment, and identify factors that affect the balance between different components of an ecosystem; 3. Demonstrate an understanding of interactions between and among biotic and abiotic elements in the environment
Grade 8: Understanding Earth and Space Systems – Water Systems
Overall Expectations: 1. Assess the impact of human activities and technologies on the sustainability of water resources; 2. Investigate factors that affect local water quality; 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the earth’s water systems and the influence of water systems on a specific region
1. Introductory Video: This 20-minute video, produced by Otonabee Conservation, introduces the Otonabee region watershed and provides an overview of chemical and biological methods used locally to monitor watershed health. This can be used as a stand-alone activity or an introduction to hands-on monitoring opportunities for students.
2. Worksheets: Depending on the equipment you have available and your access to nearby waterways, the following worksheets have been prepared by Otonabee Conservation to guide students through a variety of activities to learn about their watershed and monitor its health:
- Mapping Activity Worksheet
- Water Quality Worksheet
- Biological Indicators Worksheet
- Surface Water Velocity Worksheet
- pH Worksheet
French Language Worksheets
3. Lesson Plans: These comprehensive lesson plans were developed by teacher and Outdoor Educator Sherri Owen to guide you through aquatic field labs with your class.
FIELD LAB 1: WATER CHEMISTRY
This guide outlines safety considerations as well as protocols for water collection and testing. It includes tracking and assessment sheets and identifies where you can find testing tools and supplies.
Finally, we show you how to submit your data to Water Rangers, a Canadian organization accepting water quality data from citizen scientists like you.
FIELD LAB 2: BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS
This guide provides everything you need to catch and identify benthic bugs, calculate water quality ratings, and create a water quality statement.
You’ll also get two worksheet protocols for evaluating water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrates.
This field lab explains how to submit your data to the Leaf Pack Network Database.
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt
“March is a time when winter’s grip finally begins to loosen. Large numbers of migrating birds return, bird song greets us as we step outside in the morning, the buds of several tree species begin to open, and the longer days and warmer sun rekindle our spirits.”
Drew Monkman’s Monthly Almanac
Keep a lookout for northward-bound ducks on open stretches of lakes and rivers; loud red squirrels trying to find a mate; owls, such as the barred owl, calling “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you”; the bird songs of the house finch and cardinal; the reappearance of raccoons, pussy willows, chipmunks, robins, grackles, and red-winged blackbirds; the sap of the maple trees starting to flow. On a warm day in late March, you may get a glimpse of a mourning cloak butterfly taking its first flight since last fall. These purple-black and yellow butterflies will often feed on sap dripping from maple trees in spring. The mourning cloak butterfly overwinters in the adult stage of the life cycle. If the weather becomes particularly warm, you may see the odd honey bee on a crocus or snowdrop in your garden. Honeybees are one of the few insects that remain active all winter. Coyotes give birth to three to seven pups in late March or April.
There is a tug of war going on in March and April as spring tries to defeat winter. Most of us are rooting for spring as we enjoy longer days and mud puddles. Try this scavenger hunt as you look for evidence of the emergence of spring. Download the PDF here.
The Pathway Project is pleased to partner with the Peterborough Child and Families Centres’ Toy Lending Library to provide Pathway’s ‘Wonder Wagons’, mobile educational learning kits.
Wonder Wagons are a perfect resource for any parent or educator who needs help engaging children with nature-based learning tools.
These activity-based mobile kits are linked to themes from ‘Animals in Winter’ to ‘Birds’ to ‘Trees’. Other supplies available include clip-boards, sit-upons and a picnic blanket.
To book a bin, call the toy lending library to set up a pick-up time: 705-748-9144 ex. 310
Visit www.ptbocfc.ca for more information.
Tuesdays: 9:30 am to noon, In-person by appt
Wednesdays: 9:30 am to noon In-person by appt
Thursdays: 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm In-person by appt
Saturdays: 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 9:30 am to noon In-person by appt
- Note: Book a wagon to transport your bin(s)
Large Bin – Primary Art
- Leaf Man (book)
- Art paper
- 5 large Paintbrushes
- 20 small Paintbrushes
- 5 large watercolour blocks
- 10 glue sticks (and instructions for butterfly or artist palette nature art)
- 7 small rulers
- Modeling clay (and instructions for clay nature art: impressions, fall bouquets)
- 2 rolls masking tape (and instructions for Nature Bracelets)
- Note: Book a wagon to transport your bin(s).
Large Bin – Junior Art
- Andy Goldsworthy A Collaboration with Nature (book)
- 12 Watercolour paint sets
- 100 Pencil crayons
- Pad of art paper
- Modeling clay (and instructions for Clay Faces)
Large Bin – Winter
- Animals in Winter (book)
- Hibernation game instructions and 6 small containers
- Animal signs bingo
- 3 winter tracking sheets
- Tracking stick and instructions
- 1 ruler
- Stranger in the Woods (book)
- Stranger in the Woods kit including hat, mitts, and scarf for the snowman
- Over and Under the Snow (book)
- 12 plastic pails and shovels, 8 metal spoons for shoveling snow
- The Snowy Day (book)
- Snowflake observation squares
- Snowflake identification sheet
- 8 small magnifiers
- The Manitous (storybook)
- Maple Moon (book)
Large Bin – Wonder
- I Wonder (book)
- Rabbits, Squirrels, and Chipmunks (book)
- Quick Reference to Wildflowers of Ontario (poster)
- Frogs, Toads, and Turtles (book)
- 12 large magnifying glasses
- 4 rulers
- Mini tape measure
- Soup or mud kitchen mini pots and pans
- 5 wicker collecting baskets
- 2 jute rope
- 4 Texture Sensory Boxes
- Forest game ideas
- Colour matching paint chips
Large Bin – Bugs
- 4 green and yellow viewers
- Peterson First Guide to Insects (book)
- Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies (book)
- 6 telescoping Butterfly Nets
- 2 mini bug nets
- 12 bug boxes with magnifier lids
- 2 bug containers with tweezers
- 7 laminated Litter Critter identification sheets
- Minibeast hunt sheet
- Insect hunt ideas
- Plastic bugs for Insect hunt ideas (“camo trail” and “what is insect”)
Small Bin – Birds
4 Bushnell Binoculars
2 Kona Binoculars
Birds in Winter (book)
Birds, Nests and Eggs (book)
Quick Reference to Ontario Birds (book)
A sheet of ideas with websites: Christmas Bird Count, Backyard bird count
Small Bin – Binoculars
4 pair blue Bespin Binoculars
4 pair green Kidwinz Binoculars
4 pair Celestron Binoculars
Large Bin – Tracks
Tracks, Scats and Signs (book)
Big Tracks, Little Tracks (book)
Quick Reference to Animal Tracks of Eastern Ontario (poster)
Tracking Stick and instructions
Small bin – Trees
Quick Reference to Trees of Eastern Canada (poster)
Trees, Leaves, and Bark (book)
2 tree wheels for identifying Ontario conifers
Coniferous tree key
“Trees Provide Food” sheets
“Trees Provide Medicine” sheets
Learning through Monarch Milestones
by Sheila Potter
At the same time of year that children are beginning to feel tingles of nervousness about the impending return to school, a special generation of monarch butterfly caterpillars is munching ceaselessly, preparing for an epic adventure of their own. Known as the “super generation”, the monarch caterpillars that hatch in late summer live 8 times longer than their parents or grandparents and travel over 4000km to their overwintering home in Mexico.
This coincidence in timing offers an opportunity for teachers to greet nervous students with something that will amaze and inspire them, distracting them from their private worries and setting the tone for the entire year.
Although a September start to the school year is most often too late for students to witness the egg stage of the monarch’s life cycle, the timing is usually just right for students to see the fully-grown caterpillar turn into a gorgeous turquoise and gold chrysalis, and then emerge as a bright orange butterfly. The metamorphosis and journey of the monarchs also offers a vehicle for lessons in social studies and environmental science that become all the more real with the presence of the butterflies in the classroom.
For teachers who are interested in undertaking this project with their class, there are many resources available to further enhance the learning experience of their students:
Students can follow in the footsteps of Canadian zoologist, Dr Fred Urquhart who was the first to tag monarch butterflies and to verify that individual butterflies make the entire journey to Mexico. Monarch tagging kits can be ordered from monarchwatch.org and even very young students can easily tag the classroom butterflies before releasing them. Tag numbers and other data can be collected and entered into a database, helping to monitor the size of the monarch population that has lately been in decline due to habitat loss and other threats.
Follow Migration Patterns
Using the website, journeynorth.org/monarchs, students can observe the progress of the monarchs as they move across the continent, eventually arriving in Mexico near the end of October.
Art and cultural exchange
A Peterborough Project: the monarch ultra and mini-ultra
In 2019, a team of ultra runners, film-makers and pollinator advocates followed the flight of the monarch butterfly by running the same distance of 4,300km (2,671 miles) from Peterborough Ontario to central Mexico. At the same time, local schools were invited to participate in the Mini-Ultra”. Once a school registers for the Mini Monarch Ultra Program, students can start running anytime of the year. Schools are encouraged to keep track of the kilometres that the students run or walk, aiming for a total of 4,300km – the total distance monarch butterflies travel during their fall migration. You can learn more or get involved at: themonarchultra.com/mini-
Teaching the teacher
Raising monarchs requires a permit and a bit of knowledge. Teachers can learn all that they need to know by taking an excellent workshop from the Monarch Teacher Network: https://trca.ca/learning/
Click on the image to download this image and enjoy learning about Monarchs through art.
Pathway Project Awards 20/21
The Pathway to Stewardship and Kinship celebrated a year of exceptional contribution from our Pathway community at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre on Oct. 3. The awards celebration highlighted the outstanding efforts of families, educators, schools, and community leaders who have contributed to the 14,295 Landmark activities reported in the past year.
“Fostering positive stewards today, for a healthy tomorrow is an endeavour that takes a village. Camp Kawartha is thrilled to work with its many partners to offer up positive stewardship experiences throughout each age and stage of a child’s development to inspire, empower and motivate our children to create a healthy planet where both people and nature can thrive. We are so excited to celebrate the good work of the many amazing educators who have helped to bring this project to life!”
We were delighted to recognize the following Pathway Explorers for their exceptional contribution over the last year.
Sunshine Daycare took the group award for Highest Landmark Points with 207 points. The Chickadees were close behind with 147 and captured the Family category for Highest Landmark Points.
Millbrook South Cavan Public School reported 1,203 experiences from their school clinching the prize for Highest Landmark Experiences, Group. The Nature Nuts took the award for Highest Landmark Points for a Family with 67 experiences reported.
The Outstanding Leadership Awards for exceptional contribution by an educator or community leader were:
Heather Snowball, Highland Heights
Emily Warren, Home Childcare
Lindsay Bowen, Immaculate Conception
Indrani Talapatra, KPR virtual Kindergarten
Lisa Gutoskie, R.F. Downey
The following schools and centres completed the Trailblazer, Step 1: Acorn program and are moving into the Trailblazer, Step 2: Sapling program
Highland Heights Public School
Millbrook South Cavan Public School
Peterborough Child and Family Centres
Compass Early Learning Home Childcare
Northern Lights Children’s Daycare
Trent Childcare at St. Luke’s
Congratulations to all the winners and to each person who has supported the Pathway Project. As the program continues to grow we are inspired and encouraged by all the great work and goodwill. Keep an eye out for more family outreach opportunities throughout the upcoming year.
The Pathway Project is a community partnership directed by Camp Kawartha and sponsored by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Its many partners include Peterborough Public Health, Otonabee Conservation, Peterborough Child and Family Centres, GreenUP, regional Boards of Education, The City of Peterborough, Fleming College and Trent University. The project promotes 30 age-linked Landmarks developed through extensive research and community consultation. These Landmarks are a step-wise approach to fostering healthy kids with strong skills in stewardship and leadership.