Wimbledon - Brambles and Blackberries

Our Week in the Forest...

Hands are very handy things!
Over, under, over, under. Through the holes and pull it tight. The Little Forest Folk were improving their threading skills using dock leaves as their weaving templates and the long, strong stems of the clover flowers as their thread. The finished articles were beautifully designed, with all the clover flowers arranged elegantly on the top of the leaves.
Handcrafting artisans they became, and if flowers weren’t their preferred medium, then the frayed ropes of the horse and cart (an old tyre in actuality) provided. Plaiting and tying the ropes into ornate patterns focused the children and together, their little forest community drew in more and more forest folk to watch their skills in practise.

Delicate. Using fingers and thumbs carefully, the children have had a great boost to their fine motor skills this week with some lovely activities of their own devising. After the tyre had been used to pull children around the meadow, much to their delight, the tyre and ropes were left for the children to use as they wished. Using the edge of the tyre as an ideal seat, several children set upon it to play with the ropes that were coiled next to it. This became more focused as one child taught herself plaiting (mum was pleased that she might be able to start doing her own hair!) while others worked out how best to tie knots.
Due to an abundance of clover and dock leaves in the wilder patches of the meadow, other children took up a more intricate task with their hands: threading the clover through the natural holes in the leaves. The intense concentration the children displayed was incredible and the results were gorgeous, delicate attempts at forest-based needlework.
Rugged. Coping with all conditions is what the Little Forest Folk do best and when others shy away from the outdoors, we actively embrace it with both hands. Through some wet spells this week, the children simply put up their hoods and carried on regardless: rain certainly doesn’t halt a tug-of-war. The ropes being repurposed, the children showed their muscles in little friendly challenges, which became excellent practise when an old tent peg was found that couldn’t be removed by hand.
Tying one end of the long rope to the head of the peg, big and little forest folk alike took up the slack and heaved with all their might! Alas, one good tug was not enough, so, after retying the end of the rope to get better purchase, the children lined up again and with an even mightier effort, the little forest folk finally extricated the peg from the meadow. A great cheer could be heard all around the forest at the success!
Juicy! The blackberries are coming! All through Fishpond Wood, the brambles are covered in a myriad of blackberries from the newly green to the glistening purple. This rainbow coloured fruit drew the children to them this week and saw the Little Forest Folk in fine collecting form. Cauldrons, buckets and hands were filled with the fruit of their labours (please excuse the pun).
The scrutiny applied to the blackberries by the children is similar, one could argue, to that of a jeweller examining a diamond, such is the time taken and over which berry to pick. Some had exacting standards – the darker the better – because the blackberries were for a purpose: squishing! Dying their hands (and arms and faces in the process) the children relished the tactile nature of squashing the blackberries between their fingers and were immensely proud of their stained hands afterwards, displaying them to anyone who hadn’t already admired them!

Have a good weekend folks !

Little Forest Folk