After eating lunch and playing games in our fort and mini forest, R discovered a snail sliming its way across one of the gym mats. He sat down to take a closer look, “it’s like the Discovery Channel,” he commented.

Liam and Cassidy then joined R and together they laid down on the mat to inspect the snail, talking about the slime trail it left behind. Not wanting anything to happen to it, they moved it off of the mat into the grass and covered it with the longer grass. Then Jack appeared with another snail and placed it next to first snail. Wondering what was happening, the other children came to have a look. Seeing the snails, Kaden suggested making a home for them. They spotted the clear, sectioned tray we had in the fort and quickly removed its contents and placed the snails inside. A few of the children ripped up some grass and added it to the tray while the other children began a search through the mini forest for more snails. I suggested they add some dirt to the home as well, so Blake found a good chunk of dirt and began sprinkling it into the tray. While the children continued to look for more snails, I googled ‘what do snails eat?’ I informed the children that they eat fruits and vegetables and asked them if they would like to collect some to add to the home. “Yeah!” they shouted…

So we ran inside, bringing the snail home with us, to see what we had for fruits and vegetables. With groceries not arriving yet, our only options were craisins and oranges. We chose to cut up the craisins into smaller pieces to sprinkle inside the home. After we added the craisins, R asked everyone if they wanted to do a “Snail Club”. He then made a list of participants, naming himself Captain. When we got back outside, R instructed everyone on what to do – he had some of the children continue their search for more snails, while the others guarded the home. It was awesome to observe the children working as a team and to hear them complimenting one another when they would find a snail. Working together, they discovered that they found more snails in dark, moist areas, such as under the pine trees or deep in the bushes. Before heading back inside to cool off, the children placed the snail home inside the mini tent to help keep the home safe… The following morning, the children were extremely eager to get outside to see if the snails were still in their home. The second we were out the door, the children ran full speed to the fort where the mini tent was sheltered under a sheet. Only one snail remained!

Jack, Cassidy, and Lucie decided to look for more. Cassidy found a clever way to carry her snails, sticking them to her arm. Lucie suggested placing the snails on one of the mirrors, “I’ll carry them for you,” she offered Cassidy. Cassidy allowed Lucie to carry her snails while she searched for more. “Look at my snail,” said Jack, presenting his snail to Mary and I on another mirror. “What’s its name?” asked Mary. “Declan,” replied Jack. The three of them then sat down on the gym mats together, admiring their snails on the mirrors and discussing what they eat, “mixed salad,” said Lucie, as well as why they have slime, “so they can stick to stuff,” said Cassidy. It then appeared that the snails were racing across Cassidy and Lucie’s mirror, so I suggested using one of the markers to create racetracks and finish lines. Lucie used a purple marker to draw lines in front of each snail and then observed which snail crossed his/her line first, “Little Leah won!” her and Cassidy cheered. After the race, the girls brought the mirror over to the desk to colour the snails shells with marker, as well as the mirror around them, meanwhile Jack persistently tried to get his three snails to stick to the birdhouse. It was amazing to see the exploration, discovery, and creativity that developed over the last two days with the “Snail Club”.