Our Week in the Forest...
Both our new and more experienced Little Forest Folk have approached this week with a sense of exploration and discovery; investigating all the nooks and crannies of the site and trying their hand at a whole array of different activities. The mud kitchen, as always, has been a spectacular hit with avid attention being paid to the children’s own culinary creations. Adding ingredients to water to make soups or mixing beautiful, dark mud into an oozy, gooey concoction for cakes and pancakes while making use of all the familiar utensils they recognise from home.
There has been a real focus on building with items scavenged from our selection of loose parts and the educators have been on hand to support the children in safely constructing the projects they envisage. One group collaborated to form a climbing frame structure with an “up” as well as “down” slide which allowed for learning about balance, length, weight and cooperation whilst all the while being engrossed in their play. There was a discovery that "something" had been making holes in planks and logs, as well as breaking sticks and string! This led to a discussion about what this "something" might be, ranging from a metal robot to the BFG, and evolved into a child-led investigation, ranging all over the site, hunting for clues and using sticks as “beepers” that would detect where to find the evidence.
Tools were once again introduced to the forest with the children sitting together to hear all about the bowsaw. We discussed what it could be used for, how to use the tools safely and then a demonstration was given so that the children could understand how they could make their own tree cookies, making a link to how their name cookies must have been made! Under the safe and watchful eye of our practitioners, the children waited their turn at putting on the work gloves and using this new and exciting tool. For those returning, it was an opportunity to impress us with their excellent understanding of how to use the bowsaw, supporting our newer children to grasp the importance of team work and focus whilst using the tools. Some children painted the cookies, others preferring chalks to create colourful biscuits and using them to practice their counting with their friends. They rolled them, stacked them into towers, shared them with their friends and investigated the texture of both the smooth flat surfaces and the rougher outer edges as they studied what they had made.
It has been a beautiful week with the team commenting on how settled the children have been and marvelling at how keen they are to explore their new environment with their friends. It is a wonderful thing to witness the impact this natural environment has on our Little Forest Folk children and how even those who are not quite ready for wide ranging excitement have ample opportunity to be fascinated by even whatever is within arm’s reach. Investigating the texture of the things they find, rubbing, scratching bark, crunching leaves to see them spring back into shape and finding treasures in the simplest of things is a perspective to be envied in children this age.
We are still clinging onto warm afternoons but already some of the children have started commenting on or asking questions about the changes in the natural environment that they can see as summer starts thinking about heading in an autumnal direction.
We can’t wait to see what adventures next week brings our way!
Little Forest Folk