Fulham - Muddy volcanoes

Our Week in the Forest... 

This week has been slightly quieter so we thought we would attempt something a little different, a week without any resources, other than those provided by the forest!! No mud kitchen, no swings, no ropes, no book bag, no buckets. We did take a small pot of pens in case we needed them and a ball of string but that was about all. The whole week was directed by the children’s wonderful imaginations, and wow what a week we have had. Some of the children build an impressive volcano from mud, it started off life as a mountain and then developed into a volcano. The children worked together to create the correct consistency for the lava, sharing their idea and creativity in an effort to make an ‘eruptible’ volcano. One child poured dry dirt on for support, another shaped the volcano, and a third added water and mud as the ‘lava’, and finally success! The volcano erupted, overflowing with the muddy mixture, pouring down the sides into a muddy lava puddle. Not satisfied with this achievement the children immediately set about creating an even taller and deeper second volcano…
With no additional resources in the forest the children became more observant and focused upon their immediate surroundings, noticing details and elements that may have gone unnoticed, and making the most of each and every natural ‘loose part’ they found. Logs and sticks along with old bench tops, the wooden cable reels that now live in the forest and the buckets that collect the water when we wash our hands at snack time all became part of their play in a big way. Several children continued playing ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ that they had started the previous week. They went in search of the bench tops and when they found them they dragged them to the hay bales and positioned them as bridges. The Billy Goats had two bridges to cross, Putney Bridge and Twinkle Star Bridge. Under Twinkle Star Bridge was the scariest and hungriest troll they had ever met. The Billy Goats were very brave and managed to trip trap safely over the bridge to the other side before the bridge itself fell ‘overboard’ and was washed away in the sea. Fortunately, the scary troll never had his dinner that day!

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The arrival of quite a lot of rain on Wednesday morning provided the children with lots of puddles to splash in and an abundance of rain water to play with. One group of children decided to relocate the puddle using the hand washing bucket and a cup they found. They moved it down the path little by little, creating islands and inlets as they went. After the rain stopped and the sun came out the children found a pair of adult gloves on one of the logs on our site. They wondered who they could belong to and someone suggested that they might be the gardener’s gloves. The children and educators knocked on the gardener’s door but there was no answer, so they put the gloves on the windowsill and an educator suggested writing a letter to the gardeners to tell them where they were. The children thought this was a great idea and all set about writing letters to the gardeners. When the letters were ready they went with an educator and posted them under the door for the gardeners to read when they returned, what a lovely surprise upon their return!
At the end of each day we wanted to reflect with the children on how they had found it without our additional resources? Interestingly, their overwhelming response was that they wanted more of these days, expressing, “Like today with nothing” and “I like today with nothing at all”. With such a positive experience with the children we will definitely have more of these days in the future…

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Little Forest Folk