Our week in the forest...
As I stood amongst the trees, the ‘Forest Folk’ as they are most commonly known, scampered and played around me. They are inventive little people, using sticks and hay to construct dainty nests for some imaginary new chicks that had hatched that very morning. It had been a point of great concern for the Forest Folk that a great forest hen had lost all of her eggs and so they’d quickly rallied around the hen to find all of her lost brood and made a new nest for them all using scavenged items... the forest is a perfect provider for all things.
These Forest Folk are creative and thoughtful too, decorating boxes for their treasure with great care and deliberation, deciding on colours and pictures that matched their desires and interests. Sometimes the art is simply for its own sake, and making mud paintings showed the Forest Folk at their most free, spending long periods deciding over the best marks to make and thoughts that they wished to present on the page.
Finding. 'Tis the season of the humble egg thanks to Easter being just around the corner. The children have engaged with a whole host of different activities this week that have all revolved around eggs in some way. Rachel, a Big Forest Folk, ‘found’ a letter from a hen asking the children to find her eggs that had been blown out of the nest. The children showed compassion towards the hen and, after snack, set off around the meadow to uncover all of the eggs and return them to a basket. They then set about making a new nest for the hen to put the eggs in, finding useful sticks, hay and grasses to line the nest and to be chicken treasure.
Designing. With the outline of an egg on paper, the children had their creative juices flowing as they coloured and designed their own eggs. Some had ambitions beyond their abilities and one egg had ‘Everton’ written across it – the child’s favourite football team! Making their own treasure box was a very popular activity too: it was difficult to gauge whether the children preferred drawing on the outside or filling the inside with all the wondrous things they could find around the forest.
Experimenting. Having plenty of water in the forest means that science can really take a foothold in the children’s learning and development in whatever way they choose. With combined gutters set up, the children marvelled at the way water can flow and they questioned the effectiveness of the pipe system, measuring the water going down, compared to the water that actually reached the bottom. Another pipe, a complete one this time, was suspended at head height for the children and they took turns calling into it to hear how the tube changed the sound. It also made for a superb giant telescope although mostly what was seen through it was a cheeky, smiling face at the other end!
Rhyming. During key points of the day when all the children are together, songs are often a lovely way to engage everyone and give the children the opportunity to shine in different ways. Our usual pirate song has done the rounds but more and more the children are offering suggestions as to the type of pirate that sings the song: a sad pirate, an angry pirate, a forgetful pirate and a firm favourite, an ant-in-his-pants pirate! Limericks, too, have entered into the circle time with the children and, especially with some of our older holiday campers, there have been brilliant ideas for the limericks (the children’s names, animals, trees, toilets!) as well as offering up some excellent rhyming words for the ends of the lines so that the adults can come up with the limericks quicker: fox, box, clocks and socks being a longer set developed by a child very quickly indeed!
Food in the forest:
Our full April menu can be found on our website HERE
Roast Chicken with cous cous
Whole chickens are roasted in the oven, stuffed with garlic and rubbed all over with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Cooked slowly until the meat is falling off the bones. A tomato and red pepper sauce is cooked slowly on the hob with garlic and plenty of mixed herbs. Then the roasted chicken is mixed with cous cous and the tomato and sweet red pepper sauce poured over the top.
Have a wonderfully sunny weekend!
Little Forest Folk