Our Week in the Forest...
As the summer season stretches on, mother nature continues to reward us with her magical delights. It would be easy enough to think that the forest is home to only greens and browns, but when you bring yourself into the moment and take your eyes for a walk, you really start to notice just how abundant and vibrant nature really is. With a focus this week on colour, the children have been exploring the pallet of the forest, searching high into the canopy and low into the undergrowth for as many different colours as possible. The children have impressed us all this week by demonstrating how to slow down and become truly present in your surrounding environment. In doing so we have all noticed that colours really are brighter when the mind is open.
With the children intrigued by the range of colours in our forest site, we decided to go on a colour walk around the grounds of Chiswick House. The children were essentially on a treasure hunt for colour, working together to get every colour on their lists ticked off. What the children found ranged from green parakeets, to orange life buoys and purple thistle flowers. While on the colour walk the children were deep in conversation with each other, talking about the brightness and saturation of different hues they had noticed whilst exploring. As the children were also reviewing what they had found after each subsequent discovery, by the end of the adventure they were able to recall each colour and its corresponding object. Without the use of pens and paper to record a list of their finds, the children were able to mentally map what they had found purely through a collaborative discussion and a mutual self interest in their learning. By employing various mental strategies in their play the children are challenging themselves, testing new ways of thinking, and expanding their cognitive capacity.
Carrying on with the theme of colours, the children decided to gather a variety of different coloured plants and flowers. Once finished, they again deliberated amongst themselves as to what they wished to do with their bundles of colour. One idea that came to fruition was to get creative and make nature collages. The children used paper and glue to make incredible and original arrangements using only what they had found in their surrounding environment. Some children decided to make self portraits while other opted for landscape pieces of the forest. After reviewing the landscapes, the children talked about how they used small pieces of wood, leaves and flowers to represent tall standing trees and expansive forests. Through natural progression the children then decided that they could bring that idea off the page and use the same collection of colourful vegetation to build miniature worlds and models.
After first discussing what they wanted in their collaborative build, the children became self governing in assigning each other roles and responsibilities. The children communicated like expert builders, working together to bring their shared visions to life. The children talked about what colour they wanted each building and structure to be and the links drawn between colour and purpose were fascinating. For example, when building a bug café the children decided it should be green as lots of insects like to eat plants. After a period of labour our little builders took a step back and were proud of what they had accomplished together.
We have no doubt that our children will continue to bring such beautiful and colourful ideas into the world, inspiring everyone they meet as they have inspired each other and us as teachers.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Little Forest Folk Chiswick