Our Week in the Forest...
The Autumn has been very evident this week in the forest with leaves tumbling from the trees in a multitude of rainbow colours. The children enjoyed collecting them, rolling in them, throwing them in the air and creating forest masterpieces using all the different colours. Some children used the leaves to make pictures in frames in beautiful arrays of red, orange and yellow. Before starting their artwork they explored and foraged throughout the Palace gardens for leaves of varying colours and shapes, and decided upon having a bag for red leaves, orange leaves and one for the yellow leaves. When they arrived at one of the locations under a maple tree they were astonished to see how many different colours there were from just a single tree!! Some children used a camera to take photos of the trees and captured the beautiful autumn colours against a clear blue sky.
During the week the gardeners and tree surgeons have been to visit to take a look at some of the trees at our base camp. One of the trees needed a bit of a ‘hair cut’ to remove some dead branches and the children watched, fascinated by their work. It was also a great opportunity for the children to ask lots of questions about why the tree’s branches were being cut, what their special saw was called and why one of the gardeners was holding the bottom of the ladder. We talked about how trees start as seeds, become little saplings and eventually grow into trees, producing fruit and seeds themselves and sometimes old branches die and need to be trimmed off. The children watched for ages, commenting on how the gardeners were wearing gloves to keep their hands safe and how they were climbing very, very high in the tree. Some of the children thought they would like a ladder as tall as the gardener’s ladder! Their ladder was a bit high for us but when they had finished some of the children climbed the rope ladder in the tree, whilst others made tools from sticks and set off ‘sawing’ some of the lower branches and logs.
Later in the week we talked about seeds again when we made fruit salad in our cooking lesson. The children cut the apples and pears and were excited to find seeds inside. They decided they would keep them and take them to the forest the next day to plant and grow their own trees. Imagine their surprise when they cut open the pomegranate and saw how many seeds were in there!! The seeds were carefully planted and the children built a fence around it to keep them safe. To make extra sure no one dug them up, one of the children suggested a sign which an educator scribed for them and they hung on the fence.
It is such a privilege to be able to experience the gentle changes in the seasons first hand and this really helps the children understand how the trees and plants grow, die back and change over time in the forest.
Little Forest Folk