Our Week in the Forest...
Wandsworth- Teatime for Tigers (and paying customers)!
Corr! What a cracking week we have had over at our Wandsworth sites. The children are really starting to flourish in their new environments and with their new found confidence has come an eagerness for adventure and the excitement to start to slip into imaginative worlds. It has been terrific for us to see how little input the children have needed from their educators before they are off and away in a land of their own.
Wandsworth opened a fancy new eatery this week, the aptly named ‘Paradise Cafe’, providing some much needed competition to the area. On our visit the café staff arrived promptly and immediately busied themselves writing menus and doing the prep for the day which involved catching fresh fish. Once all that was done they opened the doors to some eager customers. The small waiters were extremely attentive and greatly outnumbered their customers, however it is still early days. With a focus on fresh and homemade it meant that some favourite items were out of stock and when one customer asked for chocolate cake they were politely informed, ‘We don’t have any chocolate cake but we do have a lemon cake.’ The chef children worked incredibly hard in the kitchen to get things out on the table pronto. It was clearly a well oiled team with waiters who were more than happy to describe the specials, writing down orders on to clipboards. The chefs were constantly mixing and banging pots before passing it on to the waitstaff who delivered the food by wheelbarrow- a very hipster thing to do in cafes these days! This place is bang on trend. New fangled sticks formed part of the fashionable cutlery and the food didn’t even need to be tasted to know it was delicious. It is refreshing to see a cafe where team work is at its core whilst also running an inventive and creative menu with lots of novel ideas. We are sure it can only go from strength to strength, so pop by soon before there are queues around the corner!
Meanwhile, just moments from the cafe, children have been immersed in watercolour art on a giant scale. They have had a super time exploring this medium and have worked together to create a huge piece of art work, which you will no doubt see again at the Turner Prize.
Way down in the Wimbledon Woods where nobody goes, an alarming thing happened - a favourite book came to life. We had all been enjoying reading Judith Kerr’s ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’, when all of a sudden we had a real tiger in our midst!! And there’s only one thing you can do when you have a real tiger come to call, even if it is a very polite tiger, and that is to feed it. So it was straight off to the mud kitchen to get cooking. That cheeky tiger devoured everything from soup to birthday cakes to cupcakes. Fortunately it had better manners than the tiger in the book and did give a hand with the washing up before it scarpered home for its next meal. The damp ground made for some great minibeast hunting under logs and the children had a great time making friends with a charming worm. For some it was their first time to hold one and they bravely tried touching it to explore its texture, before some took the leap of holding it in their hands (it must be said that the tickley nature of the worm wiggling on the palm did mean that occasionally the worm took a more physical leap, however we must assure you that no worms were actually harmed during this activity). They were completely engrossed in the worm and loved watching how it moved through the soil, fascination and glee lighting up their faces.
At both sites it has been terrific to see the children challenge themselves on the wibbly wobbly rope ladder. For some children they had not gotten past placing one foot gingerly on the bottom rung in previous weeks, but this week those very same children kept on trying and trying, not giving up, until, lo and behold, they were at the top! Their faces said it all- the bravery and drive to get that sense of achievement. It was brilliant! Well done, kids!
As ever your children have done it again and made us realise we really do have the best job ever!
Enjoy your weekend Folks!
Little Forest Folk