Our Week in the Forest
Crossing our fingers for nice weather definitely paid off as we have had another week of glorious sunshine in Chiswick with temperatures reaching mid to high 20’s and even creeping into the 30’s. We ended last week with a base camp by the river, enjoying the delights of having our favourite climbing tree close by as well as being able to keep an eye on the lake and all the wildfowl. The children remarked that the four goslings trailing their mother looked like a “train” as they drifted around the lake. We counted four baby coots, three who were staying close to their mum while the other adventurous coot was off exploring the lake. Our observations of the birds led to some impromptu role play as the children pretended to be ducks flying around the grass. Some of the children were busy making “muddy cupcakes” exploring this different texture to the dry dusty soil within our current meadow.
With the weather continuing to get hotter our new favourite toys in the forest have been the water spray bottles. The children took great delight in being sprayed with the fine mist and running away squealing before coming back for more. It wasn’t long before the children wanted to take turns spraying each other, a great opportunity to develop muscle control as they worked out how to squeeze the trigger. It was also a good opportunity to talk about using the spray bottles sensibly, not aiming for people’s faces and listening to our peers when they said that they didn’t want to join in the water play. The children quickly worked out that by spraying the water into the pots and pans of powdery dirt they could make a glorious gooey mud which opened up a world of possibilities for kitchen role play. Problem solvers that they are, they quickly worked out that unscrewing the lids gave them access to the water faster.
One of the children’s interest in volcanoes prompted some scientific learning this week in the forest. With adult guidance the children created a paper mache volcano to create their own volcanic eruption. This was a great opportunity for them to learn about chemical reactions as they mixed the baking soda and vinegar and watched the lava bubble over the top and down the sides of the volcano. We will definitely be repeating the experiment to try and get a more impressive eruption. The experiment was a great opportunity to develop understanding of the world around us and share with the children some factual information about volcanoes including where we find them, what lava is and what causes volcanoes to erupt.
The children have been learning a lot about insects this week through their daily explorations in the forest. Our insect book has provided lots of insights into these minibeasts as our children eagerly examine them keen to find out as much as they can. It is great to hear them asking questions and using language such as Abdomen, thorax, antenna and asking questions like
We learned that millipedes like damp and dark places when we found one under the bark on a fallen tree branch. Our lovely educator Mar shared with us (to the shock of some of the children!) that some cultures eat ant eggs but most of the children were keen to say that they didn’t want ant eggs for lunch. A stag beetle found in the forest brought great interest to the children who gathered around to examine this large beetle and make observations about what they could see. A discovery of a bumble bee digging a hole in the ground led to a discussion about what the bee was doing and why it would create a shelter underground. This led to a lot of dialogue about how only some bees make honey and that bees have an important role in pollinating flowers.
It is so lovely to see the children’s interest in the smallest creatures grow as they say:
Their care for the insects and their discussions and hypotheses about what they are doing and where they are going are lovely to hear. It is also wonderful to hear them correctly naming the insects as they look through the book or when they locate a minibeast. Their excitement as they shout to their friends to share their findings and take turns handling the minibeasts is infectious and always brings a crowd.
As the children see the adults using knots to create a number of creative and challenging obstacles they have become interested in and confident in making their own knots. Some of the children have shown great focus as they have sat down in the forest with nothing but a skipping rope, making endless knots in the ropes, exploring how twisting and looping the rope in different ways produces different results. Other children have been more keen on making knots for a purpose as they loop ropes around trees or logs, or learn from the adults how to create their own animal tails using the skipping ropes. The children also came up with the idea of creating lassos this week like cowboys and with verbal guidance from an adult were able to tie a double knot to make their own lasso. This prompted discussions about using lasso’s safely and the children showed great understanding of how to play safely. Their ability to communicate their understanding is always impressive.
The slack lines are still a constant source of enjoyment for the children as they jump, balance and hang from the ropes. We have almost exhausted all the capabilities for challenging the children on the slack line and it has been lovely to see the children’s confidence and capability in using the slack line grow each day.
Reminders and News
We're delighted to announce
Our Fulham nursery this week received an Ofsted rating of Outstanding. We are thrilled with the result and wanted to share with all our parents. The report is available on our website.
In the warmer weather
A reminder to please apply sun screen before joining us in the forest, to make sure the children have water bottles full of water and for children to come in with sun hats to protect them in the sunshine. We'd also suggest sturdy shoes rather than wellies on warmer days.
View our recommended Summer Kit List.
Inset Day: 8th September
Our next Inset day is planned for the 8th September. The nursery will be closed for staff training that day. All other term dates can be found here.
Have a glorious weekend!
Little Forest Folk