Barnes - First signs of spring

Our Week in the Forest... 

We have really enjoyed the beautiful spring like weather this week. There was a wonderful moment when the children spotted the first spring butterfly of the year, calling out with excitement, "Look, a bright yellow butterfly!". We have also enjoyed spotting other signs of spring, such as finding snow drops and little buds on trees and have enjoyed some lovely storytelling sessions in the sunshine. The warm weather meant there was lots of opportunities for water play this week, with children mixing water in their pans to make some delicious dishes and magic potions in the mud kitchen. 
The children have been really enjoying using tools this week, particularly the saw. All the educators were really impressed with how well the children listened to the educator leading the tool work session; waiting on the bench until asked, wearing their safety gloves and concentrating really well on the task in hand. Some children used tape measures to measure the exact length of wood that they wanted to cut and marked it with a pencil. After sawing their pieces of wood, some of us used hammers and nails to attach the wood together, with one child even making a little car that you can push along the ground! 
We have continued to enjoy having a fire when we are at our Rocks Lane site. Some of the children who were a little nervous about fire when we first started having our fire circle, are now much more confident to get a bit closer to the fire bowl when toasting our yummy marshmallows. Some of the children have been so excited about our fire that Tom led a session where the children had a go at using the flint fire stick safely. We learnt how to hold the steel stick away from our body and scrape the flint along it roughly to cause a spark. After lots of practise, we got much better at using the fire stick and all whooped with excitement when we saw a spark of fire. 

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Dinosaur bones have been a big theme this week. We have had a new book all about dinosaur bones in the forest and have had lots of fun recreating dinosaur bones out of clay. A group of children worked together to make a whole ankylosaurs skeleton out of clay, counting out the exact amount of ribs making sure we include special bones such as the club tail bone. We have left these dinosaur bones to air dry so we can then paint them and put them back together again to recreate our skeleton. We have also used clay to mould some other brilliant creations such as turtles, birds and even a robot! 
There was some brilliant collaborative play this week, in particular the children worked together to create an amazing obstacle course. The children firstly banged some sticks into the ground and then tied lots of string between the sticks. These pieces of string became 'laser beams' and the children had to crawl under, over and through these laser beams to reach the end of the obstacle course. They were really encouraging of their friends as they attempted the obstacle course, calling out, "You can do it!" and "Don't touch the laser beams!". We spent a whole afternoon crawling through the obstacle course again and again and encouraging our friends to have a go.  
What a fun packed week we have had at Barnes! We can't wait to see what imaginative ideas the children will come up with next week. 

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Little Forest Folk