Twickenham - Treading the boards

Our Week in the Forest... 

There may be a slight chill in the air as the last days of Autumn try to keep every last minute of their stage time, but the children of our forest have had stage time in abundance! We hope this is a subtle clue as to the theme of this weeks’ news. Indeed, our children have been ‘treading the boards’ as they say in Theatre Land, and it has been happening in different ways.

Our Little Forest Folk-ers are completely submerged in storytelling in our forest, be it listening to a daily tale from Miranda regarding the colour of her fob watch that day (yes – she has an unlimited supply of different colours and each story begins with Miranda putting the watch next to her bed as one colour before she sleeps and the events in the night that occur to make it change colour!) or listening to story books with educators. Balanced on logs or sprawled out on picnic blankets – our children will listen to stories just about anywhere! However, we are now seeing some lovely story telling coming from them.

The children had built an obstacle course with the help of Dejan and put two pallets together to create an A frame that they loved climbing up and over. A group of children used this as a creative prop in their imaginative play and educators listened as the children transformed into a squad of heroes having to “get over the mountain”. They kept adding more and more to their narrative and the heroes had to be careful at the top of the mountain where the weather drastically changed causing everyone to be extra cautious. One child took centre stage here as the captain of the squad as they made themselves responsible for everyone’s safety, “Watch where you put your foot here! Okay, watch where I put my hand and you do the same to stay alive”. These were some of the examples of instructions that were fed down the line in order to keep everyone safe.

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When a clap of thunder sent everyone running for indoor sanctuary, Linn continued to help provide opportunities for children to develop their helicopter stories. A stage was made in the centre of the room with the use of some masking tape and the children all sat around the parameter. Some example stories were read out loud and as different characters appeared in the stories, the children got to act out that character and show the room how they thought the character may have acted or behaved. It wasn’t long before our stage was playing host to butterflies, frogs, dancers, monsters and fairies. The children then got some practice dictating their own stories and then these stories where read aloud – again, their friends taking on key characters from the story and bringing them to life on stage. From the laughter and sense of fun that emerged from this activity, we now hope to weave helicopter storytelling into our daily routine.

For those of you who read our newsletter each week you won’t be surprised to hear the children at Twickenham are fans of mark making opportunities and this week as they got to explore Autumn coloured paints, we saw something magical happen. The benefit of being in a forest where art tables are upcycled cable drums, is that you don’t have to tell children, “Not to paint on the table” …in fact, it is highly encouraged! Not that they needed much encouragement. Before long, the tables and logs were awash with autumn coloured splashes and streaks. It must be great when self-expression isn’t restricted to the confines of a piece of paper, where brush strokes can shoot past the boundaries of the canvas and where their actions change the colour of the world they are stood in! Disney’s Pocahontas questioned “Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?” – our Little Forest Folk-ers believe so!

We hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Little Forest Folk