Our Week in the Forest...
On our first full week back after Christmas, one of the most rewarding things for us as educators, was how happy the children were to return. We hope that one of the things we instil in children is a love for learning, and to see how excited they’ve been in the forest this week has affirmed we’re definitely doing something right.
It’s been a cold week but that hasn’t stopped us! We made the most of the fire pit at Paradise, watching the flames dance and flicker and the children are beginning to develop an understanding of how a fire needs food, oxygen and heat, and if one of these is removed, the fire will go out. Every so often we have to stop and remind ourselves some of these children are 2 years old but are beginning to understand complex concepts like this. To keep warm whilst in the forest, along with lots of running and climbing games, the children have also enjoyed spending time in our big tepee. We used thermal blankets to sit on and within minutes the tepee had become a warm cosy space for stories, art activities, or just to relax out of the cold.
When we’ve not been huddled around the fire or camped in the tepee, the children have been busy with lots of different activities. We have spent a lot of time this week thinking about maths, specifically shape, size, colour and comparisons. Previously cut tree cookies had dots drawn on them and the children could choose the one they wanted depending on which shape they wanted to end up with. We discussed how triangles have three points, squares had four points or corners, our stars had five and to make our circle it would require 6 holes (although technically a hexagon!). It didn’t take the children long to realise that if they wanted to drill lots of holes the circle was the one to pick. We also collected leaves on our adventure walks and when we had returned to camp, we looked at these with the children, ordering them in the correct size from tallest to shortest and from widest to thinnest. We also looked at shades of colour and ordered them from darkest to lightest.
When we weren’t comparing shapes and sizes the children enjoyed playing as knights. With the help of an educator, the children cut out the shape of a horse’s head before finding the perfect length of stick to attach it to. Children then raced around the forest pretending to be in the middle of a jousting tournament, or off to battle with a dragon. The cable reel that we have brought to the forest this week has also helped the children develop their problem solving and teamwork skills. They quickly figured out that it would require more than one person to help roll it up the hill, but that they all had to be pushing it in the same direction – easier said than done! There were shrills of excitement as we all then stood a safe distance away and watched it roll down the hill.
It’s been a brilliant week full of lots of different experiences and we’re hoping for more of the same next week!
Little Forest Folk