Our Week in the Forest...
At the beginning of the week we had a visit from the tree surgeons who came to trim a tree on our site. To ensure the children were safe whilst the tree was getting a haircut we spent the morning playing by the Bishops tree. We took our morning snack, some ropes and some books and set up a temporary camp. It wasn’t long before the children were right at home, finding the best tree to climb, a bush for a secret hideout and the perfect place to sit and relax with a book. At snack time a duck from Bishop’s Park joined us. After a quick search of the internet to determine what fruit was safe for a duck to eat, we shared some of our leftover banana with her, which she really seemed to enjoy. This gave the opportunity for lots of discussion about why she was in Fulham Palace, what ducks like to eat for lunch and how we can be kind to animals.
When the tree surgeons had finished their work, we could return to our usual base camp. Now the sick tree had been made better we were able to go back into the nest area. This has been out of bounds for many months, and inside the nest is the best climbing tree in Fulham Palace gardens. The children were super excited to climb the tree and the rest of the week has seen some fabulous climbing as well as some interesting role play using the tree as a house, a boat, bunk beds and a bus, with top decks, lower decks and in the case of the boat, underwater areas. The tree has really sparked the children’s imagination and has provided them with mini beast spotting opportunities. A stag beetle was the best find this week but they also discovered a green insect with long legs and long antennae and a teeny-weeny orange bug crawling on the climbing tree.
Midweek Katie introduced the children to a memory game. She chose six natural objects from the forest, laid them on a bench and gave the children a minute to memorise them and remember where they were. Katie then asked them to close their eyes and she took one object away. Katie said they could open their eyes again and they had to guess which item was missing. The children had a few goes with Katie removing the object before they all decided they wanted a turn taking something away. Each child went to find one thing in the forest to add to the bench and then they took turns leading the game. With more than 15 objects now on the bench it was getting a little tricky! Some children offered clues to their friends “It begins with a C” and “You can use it to tie things.”
This week the children were very excited to see that their herbs had grown tall enough to harvest. Unfortunately, the rain had washed all the names off of the labels so the children didn’t know which herb was which. Bella provided them with an identification sheet and they matched the leaves with the pictures to work out which one was which. When everyone was sure they knew which each herb was which the children cut them with scissors, washed them and had a taste. They all tasted different. Some children preferred the coriander, some said they liked all of them. Whilst they were tasting the children noticed tiny holes in the leaves. Bella wondered how the holes had got there? After a bit of discussion, the children thought bugs had eaten them. They carefully checked all the herbs they had washed to make sure no bugs were left on the leaves they were eating, however, there were no bugs in sight!
We hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Little Forest Folk