Kids Say The Darnedest Things – Forest School Style

“That’s my dead beetle.”

This is the kind of quote that makes you wonder whether that sentence has ever been said before. Outside of a small niche group of very possessive entomologists, I’m going to guess not. 

“We were talking about building a bridge.”

It was a sight to behold (see featured image above). They planned it, they built it, and three feet off the ground, it held every child and one of the leaders from one side of the creek to the other. Then came my turn…

“It’s not the wrong way. There is no wrong way.”

I would never think twice about an adult saying something like this. When a kid says it to another kid, I think to myself “Wow. Do I even need to be here?”

“Less talk. More work.”

I think the comment for the last quote more or less works here too…

“We were playing pass with the bunny poo.”

It’s only gross if you think about it too much. And really, what’s in a bunny’s diet that’s disgusting? Just ignore the fact it moved its way all through the little critter’s bowels and you get to create a new game. Worth it. 

“Do you want to look for bunny poo with me?”

I guess they ran out…

“The snake is barfing up its organs!”

It wasn’t. But is was barfing up an only very lightly digested earthworm. A great lesson in snake diet and a reminder that kids love gross stuff. 

“Cool, an ant’s nest. I’m going to pee on it.”

Every time I hear a kid say something like this I think of this quote:

“Finally Muir and his companions found a new pleasure in such activities as torturing cats (by throwing rocks at them, dropping them out of the third-story window to see if they would land feet first etc.), encouraging dogfights, and observing the “horrid red work” of pigs being killed in a nearby slaughterhouse.” (“The Young John Muir: An Environmental Biography” by Steven Jon Holmes)

Muir in this story is none other than John Muir. The naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, an early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the US and founder of the Sierra Club. 

Kids find their own paths to nature connection, and sometimes it isn’t pretty. The boy never peed on the Thatcher Ant nest (that I know of) but I can’t help but think that if he had, maybe the world would have been a better place. Think about it. 

“I call being a judge for snake’s got talent!”

Does staring at a snake for six hours straight count as connecting to nature? It must, right? Add on building obstacle courses for them out of sticks and I think we had a pretty good day.

“This river smells like miso soup.”

Interesting. Can a river smell like fermented soybeans? I don’t see why not. This may be the birth of a new zen practice. You’ve heard of mindful eating. Now meet mindful river sniffing. 

Why are snakes bad singers?
Because they can’t hold a tune.
For goodness snakes that’s a bad joke…

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