Our Week in the Forest...
We have all been making the most of the glorious weather this week, discovering magical transformations around Palace Gardens and welcoming many visitors to our forest.
Whilst observing a friendly robin on a branch the children discovered the box tree caterpillars had once again returned this year, hidden among the foliage of one of the trees in our setting. After closer inspection, looking high and low, they realised there were lots of them nestled in the branches. So, we decided to collect our ‘observation box’ in which we could create a habitat for them and observe their transformation into moths. Carefully the group collected them in their fingers, observing how they moved on their hands and guessed how many legs they might have. We also spoke about how they can sometimes destroy certain trees as when caterpillars are growing they eat a huge amount of leaves, leaving the tree with none to survive. This cycle of nature was a fascinating discussion for the children, particularly when one child commented that when we release the moths they will lay more eggs on the tree!
Harriet has also been investigating further environmental issues with the children this week. Using large blocks of ice, both as a sensory activity and as props, they have been discussing the effects of climate change on the ice caps and as the ice gradually melted, the tub was transformed into a huge ocean. The children then suggested what animals lived among the ocean waves, so leaves became fish, sticks became whales and stones became starfish on the ocean floor. Harriet then introduced some pieces of paper and plastic, representing rubbish that ends up in the water around the world, and so the discussions continued about how it effects the habitats of our watery friends.
The children have also been welcoming, and saying their goodbyes, to many guests recently. Yan has been on her student placement for the past six weeks and has been a lovely addition to our team, the children have definitely enjoyed her company and introduced her to 101 ways of using mud! Leigh, a teacher from a local primary school, has been delivering a series of delightful activities as part of her forest school training, our children were the perfect audience creatively using the resources to maximum effect. From slightly further afield we have also hosted two Italian teachers for three days as part of their Erasmus programme. They were astonished by the children’s capabilities and engagement with the outdoors, inspiring them to introduce more outdoor learning into their own settings in Italy.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and just a quick reminder to place a hat in your children’s bag now that the warmer weather is finally upon us!
Little Forest Folk