Wandsworth - ‘Under the Sea’

Our Week in the Forest... 

From sun cream and hats, to waterproofs and wellies, this week has had it all!  The children have taken all the wild weather in their stride and relished the new opportunities it has brought for their forest play.  Once again we have seen lots of exciting games created by the children, and it has been great to see how the older holiday campers have taken the younger ones under their wing to join in the fun.
Paradise saw an influx of construction workers and problem solvers this week.  The children joined forces to create brilliant and exciting new obstacle courses using all the resources they could find.  Children of all ages worked together to carry and arrange logs and planks, calling for help or shouting, ‘Come on, you can do it!’ when they saw someone heaving over a new log for the cause.  For some children the sheer joy was in the creation of these structures and the rearranging, for others it was the challenge of balancing along the planks and jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone.  These children loved the idea of a fear factor and so were quick to introduce a game of hungry crocodiles.  Children and adults morphed into snapping beasties lurking amongst the woodchips, waiting for one misplaced foot and a wobbling child to fall into their waiting jaws. 
Both sites have had a terrific time playing with our new special LFF log and rope swing. A rip roaring good time has been had by all; children cracking up with laughter and shouting with glee as they swing from the branches.  It has been a great development opportunity for the children, masked as fun!  They have been able to work on their balance, core and strength.  Being quite a slender log the children have really had to work out how to hold themselves on the swing so as not to slide off.  Although they have also found this a hilarious part of the learning curve too!  The children have had to work out turn taking systems so that they would all get a turn. This was done brilliantly and they even created a ‘safe waiting zone’, using sticks and logs to make sure everyone could watch the fun without getting knocked by flying feet.  What we thought was really special about their experience of the swing was how the children independently began to push one another and help each other on to the swing.  It didn’t matter what the age, they were there helping their friends have the best time possible.  That said, they certainly didn’t forget when it came round to their turn…

Over at our Windmill site, imaginations have been running wild, and the forest was constantly being transformed in the blink of an eye.  One minute we were on a train, the next we were crocodiles in a swamp.  Before we knew it we were under the sea, with children echoing the song ‘Under the Sea’ as we swam around.  Even the characters they chose for themselves were creative.  I was embarrassed to have suggested I would play the part of a dolphin when I heard the incredible roles they had given themselves, such as ‘Grandpa Shark’, complete with two long sticks he had found to be his walking aids!  Naturally all the sea creatures had to help poor old Grandpa Shark out of the ‘Midnight Zone’ of the ocean floor when he got stuck.  
When faced with a wet day like we had on Wednesday, many adults might be overheard saying ‘Let’s not go out in this weather!’ or, ‘What a horrible day!’. It was the opposite of our Little Forest Folk, and we found it hard to hear the rain over all their laughing. With rain, comes slimy, slippery mini beasts and one child discovered the most enormous slug, Sluggie! From having the longest worm the other week, to this slimy giant, who knows what we will find next week!.
The dried-up stream became awash with lovely muddy water and the children transformed it into a milkshake bar, mixing up all kinds of flavours and finding sticks for straws. In the next moment, in true festival weather style, the children formed an enormous band, with pots and pans becoming drums, and one creative child using a giant stick for a double bass!  They all made up a tune, singing random songs to their music and then having a go with the different instruments. It was incredible, and all the time with rain pouring down on their heads.
Thanks for a wonderful week, and look forward to seeing you all next week.  Whatever the weather!

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Little Forest Folk