Our Week in the Forest...
While on our weekly visit to Kew gardens we found our children yet again drawn to the lake that runs through the centre of the grounds. As we approached the banks the children were mesmerised by the beautiful collection of bird life. The children sat motionless, taking in as much as they could before diving into a group conversation with the aim of problem solving together, trying to answer all the questions that had arisen through their curiosities. The conversation started by discussing how the birds lay and look after their eggs, and progressed through how the baby birds hatch out of their eggs, why the babies have fluffier feathers than their parents, and what the birds eat. Taking a backseat and simply observing the children wander along the path of curiosity was wonderful. They speak with such a fervour for knowledge, such a penchant for inquisition, and such a desire to understand the world they live in.
Once the geese and ducks had moved on from the banks of the lake the children noticed that the ground was carpeted with feathers from the different birds. The children’s eyes lit up as they dashed off on a feather treasure hunt. Shortly after, with a bag bursting with feathers the children discussed what they could be used for. One child decided that we could use them to dip into paint and make prints with, while another shared a desire to make a feather book so that we could identify different birds by the shapes of and markings on their feathers. When, at the ages of 2 to 4 we see children taking charge in this way, expressing their eagerness to create books and art, and wanting to impart their knowledge onto others, we are left speechless and warm hearted.
Back in Chiswick, the children continued to share their knowledge with the judges of London in Bloom! The adjudicators of the campaign for a greener London visited Chiswick House this week to examine the gardens for this year’s competition. As our garden plot has progressed to the stage of producing deliciously nutritious vegetables the judges were eager to find out more about our partnership with Chiswick House and the children’s interest in gardening. Through the hard work and dedication modelled by Karina, the children shone brightly, speaking with such a high level of pride and insight that the judges were left amazed. Such is the kindness of our children that they even shared their fresh produce with the judges in a little tasting session, enjoying crispy lettuce leaves and succulent purple beans. By the time the children left the garden plot, their heads were held high, beaming like a sunflower turned towards the sun.
Finally this week, we have been exploring different ways of communicating. The children at Little Forest Folk are incredibly social beings with an instinctive urge to act inclusively and with tolerance. Given that, the children have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to sign with Makaton. We’ve been introducing new words by integrating it into our daily routines. The fascinating thing about watching the children learn a new language is how quickly they consolidate their learning and how fine tuned their memories are. When we discussed the need for and importance of sign language for hearing impaired people, they were not shocked or confused. They simply embraced it as a new method of furthering their inclusivity and ability to socialise with anyone and everyone. Over the coming months we hope to further the children’s vocabulary in Makaton, using it to tell stories and play games.
Have a lovely weekend!
Little Forest Folk Chiswick