Barnes - creative mathematics

Our Week in the Forest... 

This week the children have been exploring construction, observing nature, creative mathematics, extraordinary art and some amazing feats of agility, flexibility and balance!

At our new holly bush site on Putney Heath, the children wanted to build a new den. They set about collecting resources and searching for the perfect location. They communicated with each other extremely effectively and in no time at all, a brilliant frame had been erected. The children then went off to find the perfect sticks that were the correct length to create the walls. They measured the sticks by comparing them to the length of their arms or height against their body. The children also collected earth, leaves and thinner sticks to weave and web into the walls to create a thick solid wall. Once built the children proceeded to use it as the main base for their role-playing games.

Observing nature is something that is intrinsically fascinating for our children and they have the ability to look closely and notice the minute details in everything around them. This week as we walked onto our site past the pond the children noticed some splashing sounds. As we went to take a closer look we noticed that lots of carp were swimming about amongst the reeds and some were even jumping out of the water. The spectacle left the children awestruck as they looked on in wonder. They talked about the shimmering scales that somehow managed to glow through the murky water on a cloudy day and they also noticed the dorsal fins sticking out of the top of the water like a shark. The next day the children were treated to a visit from a huge grey heron that came swooping down from over the trees to land with grace on the water. They saw the heron’s huge wingspan and long beak as it waded through the waters looking for food.

Small animals are observed as part of our daily nature walks into and around the forest and at base camp, the children have noticed a young robin that often flitters around nearby. They looked closely at the difference in colour that a young robin’s feathers have when compared with an adult. Keen to feed the robin the children set about creating their very own bird feeders. They went on an adventure walk to find pine cones and brought them back to camp where they covered them with vegan butter and bird seeds. They then tied twine to them so that they could hang them in the trees for the robin.

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Mathematical creativity has been flowing out of the children as they explore their environment and find multiple ways of solving the problems they come across. Building our very own balance to weigh different objects. The children worked with Libby and used a coat hanger, some pots and some string showing great levels of concentration. They then collected earth, sticks, stones and leaves and set about filling the pots and comparing the respective weights of the materials.

At Rocks Lane, the children have been getting super creative and have embarked on some wonderful group projects to create pieces of art. Equipped with lots of sparkly stones and gems of different colours along with lots of glue and a board the children designed and made a mosaic of a whale! First the design was drawn out and then the children discussed which colours the different parts should be. There was lots of sorting and comparing as the children worked together to find the best fit!

Adventures are always a popular choice for the children and this week was no exception. As we explored around the woodland we came across a big open meadow with a wonderful steep hill on one side of it. The children quickly started to run up and down it, showing off their balance and coordination and screaming with glee. Then they all explored different ways of rolling down. We had sausage rolling, pin rolling, teddy bear rolling and even uphill rolling! The agility and flexibility of the children was truly astounding!

We all can’t wait for next week so that we can find new areas to explore and learn in!

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Little Forest Folk