Our Week in the Forest...
With the festive period in full swing, the children have been sharing their own Christmas stories and talking about their experiences with their friends and educators. However, nothing prepared them for a visit from the most magical man in the world! First, we got a secret call from our ranger Bill that he saw someone in a red suit and with a long white beard wondering about in the woods… probably lost! The children could not contain their excitement and decided to go on a mission to find Santa! They searched high and low, through thicket, woodland and open field, finding clues along the way - a lonely Christmas tree, a log pile sleigh and occasionally, off in the distance they would hear sound of bells and a jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!” through the walkie talkies.
Our Little Forest Folk-ers sat down under the Christmas trees and decided to sing some Christmas songs, hoping that the reindeers would hear them. We discussed the different names that Santa has around the world such as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas and Kris Kringle. They then used each name to try and find the lost Santa who was calling them through the woods but nothing worked. When hope was all but lost there was a call on the walkie that someone had arrived at basecamp! The children came running back and were amazed that Santa had found his way at last to our Little Forest Folk basecamp! The children received some treats and took some photos with Santa before he had to go off on his own adventures. Later that day, the children noticed a beautiful pink line across the sky and they were convinced that it was Santa flying his sleigh with his reindeers.
The children have enjoyed unseasonably warm weather this week and so have made the most of being able to take off their gloves and get involved in lots of fine motor activities. Some of them used chalk on wooden planks to draw detailed pictures, write their own names and even write words and phrases! Others have used string to tie knots around sticks as they built their own structures, dens and traps! On one day, the children made their own volcano that erupted out of a grass mound!
During a game, some of the children wanted the educators to become sharks in the forest. They all became very excited as they pretended to swim in the sea and they ran as fast as they could across the open field. Many of them showed great skill as they skipped, dodged and rolled out of the way of the incoming sharks! Some of the children built a pirate ship which they were able to sail off in and they hid on a ‘lovely island so that the sharks could never catch them! After a while the large sharks noticed that more and more smaller sharks were appearing all around them in the sea! They all hid in a cave together and after a short nap went looking for some more food. This role-play opened up lots of discussion around what sharks eat and the children came up with an impressive list of fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, cod, sea bass and a gold fish. They even came up with fish that would not be so good to eat such as puffer fish and an electric eel! They were in fits of laughter and continued with their creative line of thinking throughout the day.
Towards the end of week, we also had lots of fun decorating a Christmas tree in our indoor site. The children played “What’s in the box?” to choose the ornaments, and loved talking about which were their favourites and described the colours and textures. We also made some lovely Christmas cards with them, getting in a creative mood and designing their own pictures and messages to go in them. As we moved through the week it was wonderful to see all the children so eager to wish each other a happy Christmas and to enjoy their time with their families.
Little Forest Folk