Our Week in the Forest...
Our beautiful Twickenham site, having felt lonely since April, was brought to life this week with the first group of full day children who arrived with their playful curiosity at the ready!
The children have been getting familiar with our snack/circle area that is becoming known as ‘the heart of our forest’ with its very own mud kitchen, water tap and cotton reel table that our Little Forest Folk-ers can assemble around. It is here that they have time to explore the visual timetables. On them hang tree cookies, each giving a clue about the different events that form our daily routine and as each event comes to an end, the children can take it off the timetable and post it in the ‘finished bag’.
The mud kitchen has been an active area to form friendships, as children work together to transport saucepans from under the water tap, their contents sloshing around the brim as they find it a home on the kitchen worktop so ladles could be shared around, mixed with mud and blackberries and shared out with their new friends (and that also included the educators.) We have had a number of new friends that have started making their own routines together – their mornings appear to be spent side by side cooking at the mud kitchen before moving onto construction play and building projects in the afternoon.
The ‘heart of the forest’ is also a place they can sit and chat to an educator as they watch snack and lunch being prepared and fall in love with the magical songs that our Big Forest Folk-er, Miranda, has been teaching us. This has featured songs about loving sandwiches, fleas that lick trees and bears who walk around saying “where’s the picnic at?”. Story and song time with Miranda is becoming a firm favourite part of the day.
There have been adventures further into our site, with Dejan, Virginia, Christie, Linn and Lizzy helping children go on blackberry picking excursions into a part of our site known as ‘The Enchanted Forest’ - a place where the fairies run for cover as our Little Forest Folk-ers ‘borrow’ a few handfuls of berries from their overwhelming stocks kept on the brambles. The children have been returning with these to the mud kitchen to add as ingredients into their imaginative cooking or as paint on their construction projects. If you have visited our Twickenham site, you will know the giant of a London Plane tree the children come across as they enter the site in the morning.
This tree hosts yet another favourite area for our children – from her impressively strong branches, the tree cradles our children on a rope swing that has been providing them with hours of laughter and joy as they cheer “I’m flying” as the tree swings them back and forth (with a little help from one of our educators!) One evening, before dinner, Xiao, Dejan and a group of the children all laid down under the tree, looking up to see just how high into the sky she stands. Xiao explained that when trees get this high, they are often known as Kings or Queens and asked the children if they would like to give this particular tree a name. One child was very keen on naming her ‘Queen Elsa Tree’. We will see if it sticks.
We cannot wait for the coming weeks as more Little Forest Folk-ers join us and we hope you have a lovely long weekend!
Little Forest Folk