Our Week in the Forest...
Over the past couple of weeks while the children have been busy using tools in the forest, one of the fantastic new resources that they created was a rope ladder. With it now in full working order, it was time to put it to the test. We fixed the rope ladder to a tree in the meadow and the children flocked to the base of the ladder, eager to try their hand at ladder climbing and critique their DIY efforts. To say the ladder has been a roaring success would be an absolute understatement. Almost every child in the forest has tried and tested the ladder, with the children discussing the best method for ascending the rungs. While some children were less confident to venture beyond the first few steps, we have seen a great jump in confidence after being encouraged and praised by their peers. Our children truly know how to pull together and give each the boost they need to push the limits and reach for the sky.
With it being an erratic week as far as the weather is concerned, the children have yet again shown their resilience and initiative when it comes to using what nature has given us. On a drizzly morning this week we carried out a weather experiment using our new measuring cylinders. The children found a spot in the meadow that had no overhead obstructions, set up their equipment and cordoned off the area with a red rope. The aim was to see how long it would take to collect enough water to fill one cup. Play resumed as normal, but every half hour the children checked back to see how much rain water had been collected. Just before lunch we found that we had collected 150ml of rainwater (not quite enough water to fill a drinking cup). After doing the mathematics however, we found that the amount of water that we collected per hour was almost exactly in line with the weather report for that day. How wonderful to think that we may have some aspiring meteorologists in our midst.
Outside of science experiments, the rain has brought back the much loved muddy puddles, the perfect place to collect ingredients for the ever popular mud kitchen. Whilst on our adventures this week, we also got a surprise at the fountain thanks to the help of the rain. At a first glance the waters looked dormant and uninhabited. However, as the children were peering into the pond, rain drops beat down on the water’s surface and we were soon greeted by a school of goldfish. The children were elated to see the pond come to life, darting around all sides to keep up with their fishy friends. On the way back to basecamp one child proclaimed “I love the rain!”, and we watched as the children glided through the grounds of Chiswick House catching raindrops on their tongues.
When it comes to creativity and thinking outside the box, our children surely are ahead of the game. The age old exercise that is used worldwide in creativity workshops is to ask participants to think of as many uses as they can for a paperclip. In the forest this week however, the children were simply given a packet of plastic cups and left to their own devices. As the educators sat back and watched what would come to fruition, we were mesmerised to see the myriad ways in which the children used a simple resource to create deep and meaningful learning experiences. Some children devised matching games where they would hide similar items under a pair of cups and their friends had to guess which were the matching cups. Other children used the cups to form a band, creating a range of percussion instruments to jam together in the sunshine. We also saw telephones, trains, building blocks and digging tools, to name just a few. So ask yourself, how many uses could you think of for a plastic cup?
The joy within Little Forest Folk
We have a brand new video which was filmed by one of our fabulous parents in winter 2016, showcasing the joy of our Little Forest Folk experience.
Food in the forest:
Our full March menu can be found on our website HERE
Our Friday morning snack:
These are our favourite fruity cookies, complete with crackled surface and a gooey centre.
Happy Mother's day for all those Mum's on Sunday... we hope you're thoroughly spoilt!
Little Forest Folk