Our Week in the Forest...
This week the forest has been full of gadgets and gizmos. After having sawn some tree cookies last week, a child remarked that he loved using the tools and couldn’t wait to make something he could play with. This child-initiated idea resulted in two of our main activities this week – spinning tops and bracelets (or superhero bands as some of the children preferred!)
This week they were introduced to a new tool – the pinion drill. We have now formed an important routine where during our morning circle time, the children are shown the tool they will be using later in the day. They get to see a demonstration of how it will be used, along with discussing what things could be made with it and the rules we have when using tools; as always, the children were captivated! Throughout the afternoon, children then took turns to drill a hole in the tree cookies they had previously cut, before pushing a piece of pre-cut dowel through the hole. It didn’t take long for our older children to realise that for the spinning top to work best they needed a flat surface and the hole had to be as close to the middle as possible. The children then set about working on their artistic side, colouring and decorating their spinners with great pride. It was comical to see how in a world where children are so aware of technology and how to use it, a toy more fitted to the Victorian era completely took over the forest.
The other tool based activity the children took part in was to make an elder bracelet. Although this week the children didn’t cut the beads themselves, they were shown a junior hacksaw and again, got to see how it was used safely. The children then had the opportunity to look more closely at the beads. They were intrigued to see the soft, spongey pith running through the core of the branch and to find out how they would remove it. This is what our appropriately named pokey outy thing (or tent peg) would be used for, before threading a pipe cleaner through it. By the end of the day most of the children had created a bracelet or superhero band or Paw Patrol button or whatever else they wanted it to be. It is so exciting to see how much the children enjoy creating these simple objects and how they are beginning to ask more regularly to make things with tools. Such an important part of our ethos is to have the children take ownership over their own learning and this is something we see daily in the forest.
Along with using tools, this week the children have created rock bands out of our mud kitchen pots and pans, swung to the moon and back on our swing, baked birthday cakes, challenged Banksy’s artistic flare with the graffiti seen on our new ‘blackboard benches’ and laughed lots and lots.
Little Forest Folk