Our Week in the Forest...
This week the children have shown great interest in ropes. Ropes are used by the practitioners to put up tarps in the wet weather, to construct dens and to build obstacle courses almost daily in the forest. This week the children have been really keen on experimenting with the ropes to build their own structures and obstacle courses. Some children assisted to plan and build an obstacle course this week which continued around several trees and allowed children to climb at a variety of heights. With a range of children at different ages, heights and developmental stages, it is important for all children to be able to give it a try. The children are learning how to tie knots and some even understand that different knots have different names. One child this week was tying knots and told us “My daddy can do a Reef Knot”. The children love being up high and these times offer not only a physical challenge but also provide an opportunity for the children to come up to the level of an educator and this often leads to some in-depth discussions. With so much rain recently, the forest has really come alive and we discover new creatures and changes to our environment every day. This higher perspective allows for chats about the height of the stinging nettles, the growth of the brambles, the cheeky squirrels around and the increase in bird calls from all our neighbours.
Mark making is taking place throughout the forest every day. This week the children were invited to collect a stone to write their names on as part of our self-registration process. The children then placed their stone in the registration box and after, they all enjoyed searching for their names! A few children also decided that their brothers or sisters needed stones too, as well as their baby dolls. This is such a great way for children to learn their name and build their sense of identity.
We also had children this week purposefully writing letters. One child decided to write in Afrikaans and she shared this with several educators and children. We also had a child experimenting with letters and saying, “I am writing your letter” to people then scribing down a mark. Mark making is such a powerful form of communication and the children are offered authentic and meaningful opportunities to explore this based on their own interests and ideas.
Storybooks are available every day in the forest for them to read by themselves, with a friend or to be read aloud by an educator. This week it was very common for a child to be sitting down with an educator either on a mat, on a log or on the meadow. Reading with children is so important for their literacy skills. Here in the forest all reading is child led and this means that the children pick the books and pick who they would like to read it with. It is a great way to learn to read, as we find our Little Forest Folk-ers mimic each other when they read together, without any support from an educator.
We have had such an enjoyable week in our forest in Wimbledon and are looking forward to seeing how our site continues to change with the warmer weather!
Little Forest Folk