Twickenham - natural mark making

Our Week in the Forest... 

September has arrived and with it came ‘first days in the forest’ for lots of children this week. We have had the fortune of being able to watch children’s explorations and interests, and what has been noteworthy this week is the love for mark making. Children have been experimenting with the chalks, testing to see what happens on the blackboard when they apply different amounts of pressure, when they draw at speed or drawing slowly. As the week progressed, so did children’s curiosity, why only draw on the blackboard? Surely, we can find other canvases? Not before long, the children had made a dead rhododendron a fabulous medley of pastel chalk colours and many a plank of wood bore the artwork of inquisitive minds!

This theme continued through the week, discovering colouring pencils and cardboard which also gave invitation for further experimentation: what happens if we poke the cardboard with the pencils? Can I draw really small or really big? The educators were also thrilled to see friendships forming with the mark making as children then paraded around the forest, holding the hand of a new friend in one hand and brandishing their projects in the other! There are so many things children can mark make with and the educators are looking forward to helping children follow this interest with lots more playful provocations, even helping to make their own natural mark making materials. Watch this space!

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During our settling in sessions, Xiao’s play-dough with a collection of natural resources such as feathers, sticks, leaves and prickly Plane seeds offered something familiar yet oddly new. We had a few parents wonder how children would interact with this without plastic cookie cutters but the children did a great job demonstrating that there are no limits to the possibilities. Volcanoes were created and monsters with feather wings joined a group of dinosaurs. It soon became a hodgepodge of colours and mud but that’s all part of the beauty. This week the children were actively seeking out the dough but Linn was on hand to offer clay modelling. The children loved the sensory explosion that came with it. At first it was great fun to squeeze, feeling the wet muddy substance ooze through little gaps in fingers. Then came the serious work of ‘playing’ as space rockets were sculpted and monsters with stick limbs basked in an autumn sun!

Our forest family is growing quickly and we remain so excited to meet more new children next week. Have a lovely weekend all!

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Little Forest Folk