Chiswick - Chalk Boards

Our Week in the Forest...

The chalk boards have stolen the show at Chiswick this week. The week began with the adults drawing shapes and the children turning them into animals, adding their own arms, legs, eyes, mouths, noses, ears, whiskers and tails. As we became more familiar with recognising a range of 2D shapes, we began to use them in our own drawings, creating shape robots and naming the shapes we had used to create the heads, bodies, arms and legs. We then gave our ShapeBots names and some of us even tried to write the names on the chalkboards with a little help sounding out the letters. We have also been practicing writing our own names, becoming familiar with the letters and the shapes that they make. It has been interesting to notice the difference in the chalk when it is wet as opposed to dry, and how the colours become more vibrant.

We have really pushed ourselves with physical challenges this week! Most of the children have been keen to use the slackline and practice balancing their way across, using a pulley-rope system. We have also been climbing up the spider’s web, being ever-so careful not to get trapped in the rope. It is fabulous to see the confidence with which our youngest children approach these tasks and prove that they are just as capable at reaching the top and getting back down again without any help.

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The children’s imaginative play has swept the forest this week. We have watched them act out familiar books, tv shows and movies without any adult intervention. Valuable skills are being learnt as the children adopt characters, take the lead, negotiate roles and sequences of events, take turns and share resources, develop empathy for others and listen to each other’s opinions.

The tree surgeons at Chiswick House and Gardens have been trimming near our forest boundaries. “It’s a little shaking and breaking” the children told us as huge branches were sawed off with an electric chainsaw. We told them that it was okay, the men were allowed to do this as they were “sawing and restoring”. This prompted lots of discussions about why the trees were being trimmed, the tools they were using, why the men were tied up in the tree and whether they could play with the trimmings when they were finished. The children were fabulous at remaining inside the boundaries and watching, and they were rewarded with some lovely fresh tree stumps for our food circle. We now have our very own forest skylight which is letting lots of lovely sunshine into the edge of our new base camp. Now we just need more sunny days!

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Little Forest Folk