Tuesday, July 29 was the second week of the Wild Child Program at UPEI's Campus Kids Daycare. The day dawned hot a sunny, and I was grateful that we had scheduled the program for the morning hours, or the heat would have kept us all inside.
When I arrived I was greeted by a chorus of "Hi Ashley!" and excited whispers of "Look, Ashley's back!" Most of the faces were familiar. The children who had not been present the week before were quickly brought up to speed by their peers that we were going to play fun "secret" games. They eagerly cleaned up their toys and within ten minutes we were on our way.
This particular day I was carrying a rather large tub as we walked across campus. Their guesses as to what was inside ranged from a hockey stick to a tarantula. Eventually we reached our destination, a large patch of tall grass surround a clearing by the sports fields. Once we were all settled down on the shorter grass I opened my tub and one by one brought the items around. Different animal parts ranging from furs to horns and shells. The children were fascinated, especially by the bobcat pelt. Bobcats are not native to Prince Edward Island and are not found here, but they are present in other Atlantic provinces.
I explained that all these animals use their differences to survive in their environments. I told the children about the snowshoe hare, which changes its fur color throughout the year in order to better hide from predators. We soon had to be back to the daycare for lunch but we did have time to play one round of Camouflage in the tall grass. The goal this game is to hide in the tall grass without being seen, just like a rabbit would do. We quickly found out that it was much harder than it sounded. Rabbits, it was concluded, must be very smart indeed to have figured out how to hide like that.
Wild Child Coordinator,