Our Week in the Forest...
After a fabulous long weekend, we returned to the forest to some new faces. It was lovely to see how welcoming our children were, inviting these new children into their play and looking out for them around the forest, asking where they were or when they went to have a sleep after lunch. At drop off we had a few tears and the children asked why they were crying which gave us a chance to reflect back on their own start dates; what they could remember and how they had felt. A few of the children shared that they had cried while others spoke about which children or staff they remembered being in the forest at that time. As some of our children prepare to leave us in September it was lovely to think back on how much they have grown in this time. We look forward to getting to know our new friends and watch as they settle into the forest and begin their own journeys.
The weather has brought a LOT of rain this week and the children have delighted in the opportunities that this excess of water has presented. As the temperatures have been a bit warmer it has been easier to stay out in the rain and play and the children were delighted to see the puddles filling our base camp again. On Wednesday, it seemed to rain non-stop until after lunch and as the top of our site began to overflow with puddles, we began to dig channels down the side of the hills to help the water flow down into the valley. Armed with a broom, some children took turns to sweep the water down the channels and out of the site. Other children found pots and pans and collected the water, pouring it away down the channels, watching as it rushed quickly away.
We worked out where the water was getting stuck and dug deeper to even out the land and help create a natural decline so that the water could easily drain. We then had a go at building dams to stop the water flowing or to stop the water returning after it was swept away. Our problem-solving skills were put to the test here and we had to figure out what worked and what didn’t, as well as exploring how the water tried to find new ways down, spreading further out in order to get past any blockages. It is lovely to see the children so happy to play in any weather and making the most of the opportunities available each day.
Our flooding river also brought about some chasing games, as the children took turns to be the crocodiles, catching other children running from one side of the bank to the other.
The mix of rain and sunshine has also changed the texture and colour of the soil in base camp and the children have discovered that when dragging longer sticks behind them, the tracks are now clearly visible afterwards. Using a long T-shaped stick the children enjoyed making loops and circles on the forest floor, taking it in turns to sweep up and collect the leaves as they worked.
During one extensive digging session, where the children searched for pieces of pottery, we discovered a painted piece of ceramic with the label “Chiswick” on the back. We can only guess as to who the previous owners were and why it was left behind.
We hope you all have a lovely weekend and we cannot wait to see what adventures next week brings!
Little Forest Folk