Wimbledon - Forest Plays

Our Week in the Forest...

Last week we saw an increased interest in children working with educators to dictate scripts for their plays. Xiao spent some time over the weekend making some story stones and educators have left them in the forest to see how children would interact with them. At first the children wanted to know what they were and how to use them so Xiao did a quick demonstration to retell a story loosely based on ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’. The children were quick to volunteer taking turns to tell stories and at first, they told simple stories involving one scene, one or two characters and something that they said to one another. However, it was not long before educators saw children's story crafting quickly evolve as they grew in confidence in using the stones as well as telling their stories aloud to an audience.
More and more stones were being incorporated which allowed a complexity to develop in story lines as more characters were involved, the setting in which the story was set could change quickly and the open-ended nature of the stones meant that stories could end however the child liked without fear of making mistakes. Not only has this promoted a development of imagination, creativity, comprehension and vocabulary (these weren't any ordinary mermaids in the children's stories, they were "fabulous mermaids") but they also gave the educators the opportunity to sit and listen to the children without interruption and allowed them to be leading stars in story time. This really helps children feel valued and important but also gave educators an informed insight to children's current interests - a lot of stories had similar themes such as transporting places with other people who are important to them, going on quests to find rainbows and fairy folk as well as the occasional mermaid/fairy king marriage! 

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Children have made full use of the old base camp this week and enjoyed exploring the large fallen tree trunks and incorporating them into their role play as the trunks go from being superhero mobiles to ships and sand buggies! The frozen puddles have provided further fun this week with lots more opportunities to examine sheets of ice and how they change in thickness and colour throughout the course of the day and smaller pieces have been incorporated into the children's role play. We have seen examples of pieces of ice being placed on cones made from sticks and grass and sold as ice creams to their friends who have paid for their treats with pebbles and tree cookies! 
We can't wait for more winter play next week and we hope you all have lovely weekends!

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Little Forest Folk