Our Week in the Forest...
The beautifully sunny weather and changes in the environment that the children have been observing have formed the basis of many exciting new activities this week.
Following on from the fascinating discovery of the box tree caterpillars last week, insects have been of particular fascination throughout the week. With observation jars in hand the children have been using their incredible observation skills to uncover a whole world of tiny friends that have taken residence in the forest. Beetles were of particular interest as there have been a significant amount among the plants, trees and flowers, from shiny to stripy ones, from ones with scary faces to others that had wings. One insect that many of the children observed in detail were the larvae of the ladybird as they also looked like a beetle, but when the educators explained that these were in fact baby ladybirds the children found it mesmerising… the fact that these scary looking insects could transform into lovely red ladybirds, the magical world of nature!
With so many insects around the forest we decided with the children that it would be a great idea to construct an insect hotel to host all of our little guests. We discussed what materials would be best to use, how we would design it and where the best place would be to locate their new home. So together the children foraged through the forest for suitable logs, branches and pieces of wood. Once we had enough we examined the pieces and decided that we needed more holes in the wood as there were so many insects and they would all need their own little space. The children knew exactly what we could use to make lots of holes in the wood, our forest drills! So, once we had prepared our work space with all the pieces of wood the children got to work with our palm drills, making holes here, there and everywhere. After everyone had had the opportunity to make their own holes, the insect hotel was then ready for it’s it grand opening!
The sun has also been fully utilised with the children engaged in some sun printing this week. After Katie had explained how the printing process worked we took the children on an adventure walk to the walled garden for them to search for interesting objects to use for their prints. They found some really nice flower petals that had fallen from the trees, along with leaves and feathers, and as always with our walks something unusual, this time it was metal circle that we thought could possibly be part of a door handle. Once the children were happy with their collection they headed back to our basecamp to start printing. Each child was given a piece of the blue sun paper upon which they laid out the objects they found, making interesting designs and patterns. After about 5 minutes the sun turned the paper white, leaving the area under the objects blue, once the objects were removed it revealed the most wonderful print, then a quick soak in some water to fix the image and their masterpieces were complete.
Wishing you all a lovely bank holiday weekend and fingers crossed for some nice weather!
Little Forest Folk