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Catamount Cubs Kick-off!

Do pumpkins float? How hard is it to hammer a nail into a pumpkin? What happens when you put orange paint on an orange pumpkin?

These and other questions were explored on a chilly Tuesday morning in November by our very first group of Catamount Cubs, our new parent-child group for children ages two to four.

The Cubs began their morning at sensory stations which all centered around pumpkins. They floated pumpkins in a bin of water, played with a pumpkin puzzle, hammered nails into pumpkins (they are a perfect consistency for easy work.), painted with pumpkin stamps, and squished bags of pumpkin guts. The weather cooperated enough that a younger sibling even attempted to climb into the tub of water! As this is the youngest age group we have ever worked with at Catamount, the focus was less on teaching a specific lesson and more on guided exploration. And explore they did!

After playing and experimenting with the various pumpkin things, we went on a hike to hunt for “wild pumpkins.” Students excitedly explored Sondermann Park, finding many things that were definitely not pumpkins. They smelled mint, walked through the tall grass, and explored clearings among bushes. One Cub excitedly exclaimed, “I found a forest!” The Cubs finally found the pumpkins they were searching for, down by the creek. We learned at the beginning of the lesson that pumpkins float, so to find out what these were we dropped them in the creek! They floated, confirming our suspicion that they were, in fact, pumpkins. We learned that it is never too late in the season to walk in the creek, especially when chasing large floating gourds.

Overall, it was a wonderful morning full of adorable antics, new connections, and wonder. I am personally very excited about this program. It gives children who are not yet old enough for summer camp or school the chance to explore the natural world in a somewhat structured way, while also learning how to interact with their peers in a group and follow a class-like routine. Our goal at Catamount is to give children the opportunity to explore and learn about the outdoors so that they can grow as individuals, while also building an understanding of our role in helping (or harming) our planet. Nothing can match a connection to the natural world that begins with a person’s earliest memories, and I am thrilled that we will now be offering programming for youth starting as young as age two.

Join us on Tuesdays starting mid-January with your little one! Catamount Cubs meets from 10-11:30 in Sondermann Park, cost is $5/person. For more information visit https://www.catamountinstitute.org/education/catamount-cubs/

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Catamount Institute
740 West Caramillo St.
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
Phone: (719) 471-0910
Fax: (719) 471-0910
Website: www.catamountinstitute.org
Email: info@catamountinstitute.org