Our Week in the Forest...
Along with a continued interest in make believe cooking in our mud kitchen, the children have been showing an increasing interest in our forest aviary friends. Eating breakfast or morning snack al fresco is always accompanied by a soundtrack of singing birds that causes children to stop mid spoon, peer up into the ‘Queen Elsa Tree’ to try and spot the source of all the tweeting.
Our feathery friends do a very good job of staying disguised but have been leaving us little clues about their identity and the lives they live on the ground below in the form of feathers. Our Little Forest Folk-ers have been collecting them and examining them. It has been exciting for educators to sit with the children and listen to how they want to categorise the feathers. Some want to organise them by shape and length, comparing and contrasting the ones that are short and very fluffy compared to those that are long and sleek. Other children have been drawn to talking about colour, noticing how some feathers appear black but have lines of blue through them and then there are those that are brilliant green.
A few of our children have recognised that the long green feathers belong to parakeets and have been sharing this knowledge with their friends. While on one level this has been a lovely demonstration of children sharing and listening to each other’s ideas, on another level we see very young children using a mathematical approach (shape, size and patterns) as a way of sorting and organising the natural world around them.
Virginia was curious to see if the love of cooking in the mud kitchen would be equally as effervescent with real cooking and so she dusted off her forest spell book which contains recipes from gluten-free playdough to a full vegan meal that can be cooked on the fire. The children decided her spell for cookies looked too good to resist and so, with rolled up sleeves they helped scoop and measure cups of oats (one cup for the bowl and one for the floor) and spoons of raisins (children felt the need to taste test the quality of the raisins...so the name of the cookies may have to be changed to ‘Oat Cookies with just a hint of Raisin’). This sort of sensory curiosity would not bode well on The Great British Bake Off but is very much encouraged here in the forest as you can’t experiment and invent if you're concentrating too hard on keeping clean!
We have also seen more and more friendship blossom this week with children sitting together in the heart of the forest to chat and giggle while sharing pieces of melon or a crunchy apple. We are quite sure this is part of the magic that is creating a very calm settling in period for our new children.
We cannot wait for the coming weeks as more Little Forest Folk-ers join us and we hope you have a lovely weekend!
Little Forest Folk