Our Week in the Forest...
It has been just four weeks since we have opened and you would never know it. Whilst the time has flown by at lightning speed the children seem as if they have been playing in the forest for years! Fantastic forest friendships have formed alongside astounding creativity.
The children have now formed some wonderful friendships in the forest. They hold hands as they walk in. They help each other to put coats or bags on. They rush over to help a friend in need and they enjoy magical moments together of laughter and fun.
On one walk into the forest two little friends were holding hands and chatting away quite happily. One of them noticed a friend who was on their own and looking a little glum. She went over and said “we holding hands!...Look!...you hold my hand?” The little boy smiled a giant smile and ran over to hold hands and they wandered into the forest three in a row.
Other friendships have formed more during play. Children have got together with similar ideas and created their own wonderful worlds where they can be whoever they want to be. These moments have seen the children develop more independence with sharing and taking turns. Characters, roles and resources are shared equally and with increasingly less adult input.
Both children and adults have been buzzing with creativity this week. The children have used natures treasure chest of resources to great extent. On one day they collected blackberries before popping them in a big tub and squishing them with their feet. The gloopy pulp that they created became a multitude of different things. Some used it as war paint to go off on adventures, others experimented with the marks it made on their hands, many turned it into paint and used natural paintbrushes to repaint the fire engine and a few transported it over to the kitchen adding it to their potions, cookies and cake!
With creative juices flowing in the forest Tom and Otis have been very busy setting up all sorts of wonderful structures for the children to use…
A tree house was built from sticks and ropes and it quickly became a “pirate ship” when the children climbed up. Treasure was collected and taken to be stored in the chambers but not before another set of pirates set about stealing the goodies. The pirates also took over the design of their ship using branches to create a roof and adding more ropes to make the sides.
An amazing digging area that Tom built became a “jail fortress” to lock up evil peas, and baddies. Digging equipment was replaced by wooden handcuffs and jail ropes. At one point a pirate was on his way back to the ship after finding his treasure when he was arrested, his hands were tied and he was locked inside the fortress. He stood there looking quite perplexed when suddenly more pirates appeared and set him free!
On one of our fantastic adventure walks we noticed that much of the long grass had been mown. The children were quick to make use of this opportunity building up stacks and stacks of hay. The mound was first a trampoline, then a bed before becoming a massive birds nest with eggs inside that hatched into enormous birds. The children had crouched down into balls before making little tweeting noises and slowly opening themselves out to become eagles, swans and hawks.
On one day our favourite log in the forest became an amazing fire engine complete with wheels, a hose and a ladder. Shouts of ‘fire, fire, fire’ were loud and frequent as the firefighters set about putting out a fire in the house and the blazing climbing tree. We thought all was safe but suddenly screams came again ‘fire, fire, fire’. This time I had apparently burst into flames and so the firefighters circled round to put out the flames. The noise effects were so realistic I was worried for a second I might actually get soaked!
What a wonderful week. I know all the children and staff at Barnes had such a fantastic time and we are all ooking forward to seeing what will happen next time.
We hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Little Forest Folk