Our Week in the Forest...
It has been a gorgeous week here in Wandsworth, the blossoming of life through these summery days has been as intriguing as it has been beautiful. The children have displayed their capability to adapt their spaces to their needs this week as well as enhancing their fine motor skills as they create knots, bows and traps.
At the beginning of our week on Wimbledon Common, we discovered a huge den that had been built by families visiting the Common. It was a very well constructed den that attracted the attention of the children throughout the week. The children have used the den space in many different ways, converting it into; kitchens, theatres, pirate ships and dog houses - using the den to enhance their creative play. What has been interesting to watch is the way the children have changed the space to adapt to their theme. For example, creating a hole in the entrance for a dog flap, poking large holes in the sides to fire canons out of, tying a curtain across the front to turn the area into a theatre. At one point, holes were created to bring in more light to the area, the children all agreed, “That’s much better, at least we don’t have to use the torches anymore”.
Dinosaurs have been a returning theme in the forest this week. Pebbles and small stones have been treated as dinosaur eggs. This has further developed into a nest being made out of paper and masking tape, the care shown by the children over each egg has been beautiful. “You have to keep them lovely and warm, and when they’re ready they will hatch out”. The children were asked what they could do to care for their eggs, and one of the boys individually kissed all of the eggs before saying “Night, night”.
Some of our children have been developing their knot skills at a fast rate. A large number of children are now able to rig up small traps and winches as well as helping with the creation of spider webs. This has been slightly perilous for the educators who have become robbers and been taken to jail by the pirate police!
There has been an abundance of insect life visible this week. At Paradise, there are four beehives within the site, working with the gardeners to pollenate and create honey. On Monday one of the hives became too full in sunlight and a small swarm of bees created a new wild hive on a bush at the back end of the site. The children were in awe of the swarm and how they looked all together. “It’s like they’re all hugging each other really tight” remarked one of the children, “They’re all shaking, maybe they’re cold?” said another. In the forest, it is caterpillar season and at every moment there is a caterpillar to be spotted. The children are so alert to their dangling friends and are always keen to share their findings with an educator – in groups we analysed the creatures in minute detail discussing their colour, shape, legs and mouths before trying to guess what the butterfly will look like when it metamorphosis’s. We're very fortunate to have so many learning opportunities present themselves each day and we never quite know what kind of adventures we may have next!
Have a lovely weekend everybody, and see you next week!
Little Forest Folk