Our Week in the Forest...
Last week, we watched in wonder as our children immersed themselves and the forest into the joy of mark making. This continued this week and a group of children eagerly helped Xiao make some paints. Educators have been thinking about natural paints that don’t harm the forest and so the children had some lovely natural options to choose from. One was Ochre powder (finely ground rock) and the other option was turmeric. The children helped pour the powder into jars and added water before screwing the lid on and giving the jar a big shake. The Ochre powder made an earthy red colour while the turmeric was a sunshine yellow.
This was a lovely chance for children to observe how things change when mixed with water as well as giving them chance to be part of the alchemy of a resource they could then use. With brush in hand, the children then began creating masterpieces on paper and canvasses that were a range of sizes and textures. As practitioners, we found the best results occur when we step back from the creative process and give children the driving seat. It gives them permission to do what comes natural and use the art mediums in ways we never would have predicted.
We had some children dipping their brush in the paints and then squeezing the brush over the paper to create droplets, then using their hand to help create large, powerful marks across the page. Others found different ways to mark make, one child rolled the wheels of his train in the paint and then drove the train over the paper. Although their technique was diverse, what the children did have in common was a sense of joy in being able to create something original to them in a playful and fun way.
We have also seen some wonderful emotional intelligence in our children this week. To help the children sing good morning and help remember the forest rules, we invited our forest puppet, Mr Fox, to come and meet the children. Mr Fox was a little shy to meet the children at first and so they decided that hugging him would “make him feel better and not sad”. Once a few children had tested out this idea, soon Mr Fox had a queue of children lining up to make him feel part of the group. They then helped him sing hello, each child shouting out their names and using the props from Mr Fox’s bag to help remind him of the rules (we were very impressed with how much they have already absorbed when it comes to keeping themselves safe in the forest!).
He was originally introduced to help our youngest children find the rules fun but seeing how this inspired a great chance for children to apply their sense of care and nurturing was an added bonus!
We hope you all have a lovely weekend and see you all next week!
Little Forest Folk