Our Week in the Forest...
The forest is well and truly bursting with life now that Spring has planted its feet firmly on the ground. With butterflies fluttering by, birds gliding on the breeze, and children laughing jovially, it’s a fantastic time to be knee deep in nature. It’s been a busy week with a few exciting changes to our normal routine. Routines can sometimes stagnate innovation, and as Amos Bronson Alcott once put it, “The less routine, the more life.”. The children have embraced this week’s changes and used their new experiences to fuel their passion for play.
The first much anticipated shake up this week was our first outing to the breathtaking Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. From the moment the first child arrived early on Monday morning, the level of excitement grew exponentially. By the time we unloaded from the minibus and the gates creaked open, both children and educators alike were eager to dive head first into our new setting to explore the enticing and expansive garden. As the sun shone down upon us while we enjoyed our delicious morning snack, the children started to formulate plans for what they hoped to do that day. Investigating the almost endless range of plants and trees, getting stuck into the adventure playground, and simply getting to know our surroundings were all high on the list. With maps at the ready, the children helped guide us through the grounds, stopping along the way to take in the scenery and explore every nook and cranny they could squeeze themselves into. By the end of the day, the children had traversed the entire width of the garden. With a wonderful introduction to Kew under their belts, the children discussed their day all the way back to Chiswick, eager to visit the gardens again as soon as they possibly could. Lucky for all of us, we now get to do it every Monday and Friday!
After such a magical start to the week, Tuesday saw the arrival of a group of holiday campers who couldn’t wait to race into the forest with us. The children who attend Little Forest Folk regularly were incredibly welcoming hosts, befriending the campers as if they had been life long chums. Having fresh faces in the forest has meant our regular attendees were granted the perfect opportunity to share their favourite aspects of outdoor play and adventure. For the next three days, the forest was filled with elated explorers bounding from one inspiring experience to the next. It has been heart warming to meet the holiday campers each morning and learn that they have been bouncing out of bed each morning, keen to get to back to Chiswick House and pick up where they left off on the previous day.
Finally, following a succession of weeks where the children have shown a fervent interest in arts and crafts, this week has seen the continued creation of a range of expressive artworks. Each child spent time painting personalised Easter eggs, with no two eggs looking remotely similar. The children shared their ideas and reasons for their unique decoration, with some children stating that they were going to give the eggs as gifts to their friends and family over the Easter holiday. We’ve also seen the children create woven nests and incredibly inventive pinecone bunnies and chicks. Even when we arrive back at the Piccolo centre, the children are still aching to get creative. With an introduction to bubble painting, the children produced a fantastic selection of cosmic patterns and prints. The more the children experiment with expressive art, the more inventive and innovative their ideas become. It has been an astounding process to bear witness to, and as teachers we are excited to see what the children will bring to fruition as the sun continues to shine on the forest throughout this glorious time of year.
Food in the forest:
Our full April menu can be found on our website HERE
Roast Chicken with cous cous
Whole chickens are roasted in the oven, stuffed with garlic and rubbed all over with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Cooked slowly until the meat is falling off the bones. A tomato and red pepper sauce is cooked slowly on the hob with garlic and plenty of mixed herbs. Then the roasted chicken is mixed with cous cous and the tomato and sweet red pepper sauce poured over the top.
Have a wonderfully sunny weekend!