Our Week in the Forest...
A week in animals, alive and extinct!
The warming rays brought forth the smiles and laughter from the children as they gambled after the dinosaurs, pointing out new growth everywhere they went. Whole skeletons, vast extinct rib cages and bones of every conceivable size and shape were uncovered and treasured by the little archaeologists of Wimbledon. But wait … can you hear the dinosaurs coming? Everyone froze, all looking to see if the coast was clear. Phew, no-one was eaten this week!
Discovery. All through Fishpond Woods and the nursery, the children have been discovering all sorts of wonders and surprises. Dinosaurs became a well-loved theme for adventure walks with amazing finds by our keen explorers: a whole dinosaur skeleton was uncovered right on our doorstep (a fallen tree); the protruding ribs of a long lost stegosaurus was walked across (a tree branch path through the mud); and bones from every dinosaur the children could name were found. The children’s vocabulary on this subject has been a marvel to hear with ‘T-Rex’, ‘Diplodocus’, ‘Stegosaurus’ and ‘Pterosaurs’ being some of the wonderful words our children know.
Play. ‘Just pretending’ is an often-heard phrase we get from our children in the forest but the depth at which the children engage with their role-playing can be truly inspiring. Actors could learn a thing or two! The focus of the role-playing has been the zoo. The children have had great fun pretending to be different animals from the zoo, and through this, they have been engaging in some excellent physical development too. The monkey children climbed all over the zoo and were quite mischievous in climbing out of their carefully constructed enclosures. The big cat children (lions, tigers, cheetahs and leopards) all ran around either after each other or some unseen (by the adults) prey that they’d spotted either in the zoo or outside it. The zookeeper children were kept busy too, building enclosures for the animals or just keeping them in one place!
Creation. Making things is something the children do quite naturally in the forest: hot drinks from the mud kitchen; mud balls on the meadow; and dens anywhere you can find the materials! Sometimes, though, new and exciting ideas develop that the children relish. Using a saw with an adult, and some large branches, the children made some brilliant paint printing tools that they put to good use in making their own pictures – all they needed was a piece of paper and their woodblock. Nature provided the paint by way of the lovely brown mud. In addition, the children have been thinking about the new plant growth in the forest and have decided to protect them as best they can with precious little fences around the fragile shoots. The concern the children show for their environment is inspiring and we are so proud of their willingness to lend a helping hand, whether to another child or a young plant: “They will grow tall like us!”
This week has been a very special one for the children as it has been the first time we’ve been able to offer stay-and-play sessions. Parents have left the site each day with beaming faces because of the fun and play they have enjoyed with their children and others each morning. It is splendid, too, to be able to share our amazing woods with parents and foster closer bonds between our children, our parents and our environment.
Food in the forest:
Our March food in the forest can be found HERE
Cheese and chia seed hedgehog biscuits
Who doesn't like a biscuit shaped like a hedgehog? Made with Extra Mature Cheddar and Grana Padano cheese. These biscuits have an interesting crunchy texture, so much flavour and are full of protein!
Some of our Big Forest Folk started their Level 3 Forest School Training last weekend, the team have relished the opportunity to grow and develop their forest skills ready to share with your little ones.
Here's a few snaps of the training in action:
We hope you have a wonderful weekend full of adventure!
Little Forest Folk