Chiswick - Sleeping leopards

Our Week in the Forest...

Our lovely little explorers have been enjoying all the new features of Chiswick forest since we moved site at the start of the term! One of the highlights in the space has been a sloped tree trunk that has been very inviting for the children to attempt to climb. The trunk is at about a 30 degree angle from the ground, so almost feels like a staircase or slide leading to the tree tops, however its quite narrow, about 20cm in width so challenges the children to assess, plan and evaluate their strategies as they take on the challenge.

Many of them have risen to this challenge, learning from a few attempts to master their own way to climb the tree. Although there is always a teacher by their side, we try not to hold their hands to climb the tree as we want them to work out their own balance and way of moving. At first many were only able to make it to about 2 feet off the ground but now many have reached the top most flat area where they conclude with a celebratory rest, relaxing their limbs as they are almost absorbed into the tree, evoking imagery of leopards sleeping in a tree! Some children have spontaneously started to make bird noises or growls as they take on the role of their inner animals!

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As well as napping in trees the children have also been exploring their surroundings. This week at Kew Gardens we made it to the Hive structure. The children were all fascinated with the architecture but also the sounds that were being played through the speakers. We found the experience very calming, almost luring us into a meditative state, so we decided to sit in a circle under the Hive and quietly enjoy the sensory experience! After a short meditation session we then went up into the structure to enjoy the glass and complex metal structures. The children wanted to play a game and asked one of the teachers to go out of the space and return shortly. When they returned, the children were all pretending to be statues, standing a still as possible, becoming a part of the Hive!

Another lovely feature to this week has been the children's interest in literacy and mark making. Reading books is always a popular option especially when the children are settling. Many of the narratives we have in the forest the children also have at home, giving them that comforting sense of familiarity but also a chance to spend time with an adult. There have therefore been plenty of stories read which perhaps has encouraged the vast amount of mark making and writing happening in the forest.

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Little Forest Folk