Our Week in the Forest...
Wildflowers, glass sculptures and swan's nests!
What a fantastic week it has been at Chiswick! We ended last week and kicked off this week exploring the mesmerisingly beautiful Dale Chihuly’s hand-blown glass sculptures! The children were all given a lovely activity book when entering the gardens, which provided us all with a map of the American artist's sculptures. We then went on adventure walks, discovering these phenomenal creations, some hidden in unexpected areas such as the waterlily house! The children enjoyed ticking off each sculpture we found and discussing what they thought the sculptures were. We had suggestions of "fire towers", "glass flowers" and "red trees". The children must have been influenced by the exhibition as we have seen lots of construction and sculpture making of their own popping up around the forest, including stick towers and houses made from sticks and leaves. If you get a chance to visit Kew, then the sculptures are on display until October and are well worth the trip!
Fresh from a weekend of forest school training for some of our educators, we have seen some fantastic activities set up for the children including Jepha's rope hammock as seen in the photos. The children were immediately excited when walking into the forest to discover this large nest and enjoyed taking it in turns as they negotiated climbing in and out of the structure. It seemed that it wasn't just Jepha who was in the construction mood as we also discovered the swans building a nest in the gated area near the main pond at Chiswick House and Gardens.
It was a very special moment to see the children discover the nest from afar and then quietly and respectfully approach it, stopping around 3 meters away and then in silence sitting and observing. We all sat in silence and awe as the swans weaved their nest using sticks. It was really interesting to see the empathy the children shared for the swans and their understanding of the importance of their home that they were building. We all acknowledged that the swans sharing this moment with us was very special and a privilege. After several minutes, we decided to quietly leave and the children then began to discuss what they had seen with the educators and their peers as we walked into base camp.
Allotment Update! This week the children have been sowing wildflower seeds and also planting in biodegradable plant plots. We discussed the names of the wildflowers we were planting including Daisies, Forget Me Nots and Poppies, and we chose to use wildflowers that attract bees and butterflies so that they may enjoy our allotment with us! We have also been planting cress seeds in pots for the children to observe as they grow. With the warmer weather and lack of rain this week, the children have also been watering the allotment more regularly. A big thank you to the educators for providing these green fingered experiences and to Jacki who has been leading the allotment activities and maintenance!
We hope you all have a wonderful long weekend and cannot wait to see you all from Tuesday onwards, for lots of forest fun!
Little Forest Folk