Our Week in the Forest...
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Last weekend, on Saturday morning, our superstar Little Forest Folk staff were in the Chiswick forest for some fantastic training! The training was held by the inspirational Trisha Lee on the topic of Helicopter stories. This fantastic approach brings stories to life, encouraging the children to act, be imaginative and be the authors of their own narratives. The staff were so inspired by this training that we decided to implement what we learnt in the forest this week!
The story telling would normally begin each day after lunch. The children were all very excited and engaged with the idea of acting out stories. So, we began by first telling very short, 5 minute stories, where the children had to take on the role of different characters given to them by their teachers and perhaps even play the roles of a props, such as a fridge! This led to some very imaginative on the spot acting. We then progressed this by asking the children what characters they would like to be. A tiger proved to be a particularly popular choice of character. With the teachers sitting on their hands, to avoid influencing the children, we then asked the children to show us these characters. One child chose to simply lick his lips as he sat on his log, whilst another jumped to his feet and burst out with a tree shaking roar! It was fantastic to see each child's idea of the characters they chose. One girl decided to be "a mummy" and explained that she would need "a bag" with "money" and that mummies would say "what should I do now?" By simply sitting on our hands we gave the children the ability to show us their ideas of these characters or props and resisted influencing their ideas, allowing them to be truly expressive and imaginative in an independent manner!
As the week progressed we continued our story telling and the children requested for the stories to be longer with greater detail. The teachers therefore began to use familiar characters and stories to extend this learning further. Due to the popularity of the tiger, we adapted the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea. The children were so engaged with this story telling and acting, it was fantastic to observe and be a part of! As the stories would progress, the children would run out of the circle to find different props to support the narratives. In some cases, we would end the story, however the children would then carry on immersed in their role play as they continued to play in the forest. We had many tigers chasing around mothers and daughters as they searched for yet more food and drink to please the ever-hungry tigers!
As well as these amazing stories coming to life, we have also been very creative this week. We have been using clay to make insects and even snowmen! We have been painting trees, logs and our hands. We have been building "mouse houses" and small dens for the animals who live in our forest. We have built tree houses, swings and pulley systems. It has truly been an action-packed week and we look forward to telling more stories in the weeks ahead!
Have a lovely weekend!
Little Forest Folk