Our Week in the Forest...
The children this week have started to develop terrific teamwork skills. As all the children get to know each other they are learning all about how to support each other, talk to each other and give each other encouragement.
On the walk in to the forest in the mornings one of our biggest challenges is pulling the very heavy water wagon. This is no mean feat for a big strong adult but our little ones set about heaving the wagon across the fields and to the forest. They work in teams with some at the front holding onto the pulling handle and steering everyone in the right direction. Others provide much needed power at the back as they propel the wagon forwards. This daily routine has allowed the children to develop leadership skills, empathy, resilience and a can-do attitude. The children learn to take turns, they learn about different roles and they learn about how to communicate with each other to reach a shared goal.
One day in the forest this week the children had a fantastic time building their own miniature gardens with Mar. In this activity the children hammered sticks into the ground before decorating them with leaves to create makeshift trees and flowers. The children showed great concentration as they manipulated the leaves and they were careful not to break them. Some children sat there for most of the morning showing great satisfaction at the end result.
The other area that has seen great team building has been the mud kitchen. Children here have started to work together on joint projects. We have seen children make cake, muffins and stew in small groups! Sometimes there are disagreements about what ingredients should be used or what the end product should be. When the children come to an agreement, they have learnt a valuable lesson on how to negotiate and talk through issues independently.
We have also had lots of den building this week which has spurred on some great conversations. We have talked about size, length, position and weight as each stick is measured and compared for purpose. The children have worked incredibly well as a team to make their little houses. On one day the children showed us that they have high expectations of themselves as they sought to decorate their newly built den and using the skills learnt earlier in the week to build a garden out the front!
This week has seen balancing taken to a new level. The children have used the resources provided to create obstacle courses of increasing difficulty. See-saws were created with planks and logs cut in half, and the children carefully walked up one side before tilting over the top to walk down the other side. When a child struggled another was always there to lend a helping hand!
The uneven surfaces of logs and trunks of differing sizes have challenged everyone this week, especially when they were soaked in water! The children used their arms and hands to help them find their centre of gravity as they went!
It has been lovely to watch all the new children who have started at Barnes become more comfortable in their surroundings. They have been getting stuck in to all parts of Little Forest Folk life. We are all looking forward to welcoming all the children back next week along with our two Little Forest Folk heroes Tom and Otis!
Have a lovely weekend!
Little Forest Folk