Wimbledon - woods and swamps

Our Week in the Forest...

Our bodies are important.
When the Little Forest Folk return to Fishpond Wood each day, they don’t know how things will have changed and what new resources might have become available to their exploratory exploits and pioneering play.
Re-entering a long forgotten corner of the forest brought wide-eyed amazement to the Little Forest Folk as they cautiously probed into the undergrowth, making new pathways through the irises and reeds of the swamp and testing their strength in clambering up unfamiliar trunks and branches.
Coming prepared for all this forest fun is essential: solid shoes to grip; waterproofs for the wet; hats for the sun. But one of the Little Forest Folk took preparation very seriously and the child, for all to see, finally put the unwritten rules of the forest onto a great tablet. The other children couldn’t have been happier with their new addition, and the Big Forest Folk were hugely grateful too!
Faces. Faces are very important things. They show everyone who we are, how we feel and give us a device to communicate with one another. Faces are fun things to be involved in play too. Face painting is a firm favourite among the little forest folk and even if there aren’t the usual paints available, the children will produce their own designs on themselves and their friends.
This week saw the use of chalk as a face-paint for the time. Completely initiated and operated by the children for themselves, the creativity in their designs was inspiring and using the chalks as a medium was inspiring and surprisingly effective … and brilliant for cleaning off too!
Inadvertently, another medium, accidentally, became a vibrant face paint that daubed the cherubic cheeks of the Little Forest Folk all week: blackberry juice! Collecting and squashing the blackberries to create a very vivid paint has continued to dominate the children’s attentions and with the paint running from finger tips, wiping hair out of faces and scratching an itch transferred the colour to faces, arms, legs and all clothing. One child even cheekily covered their whole hand in juice and proceeded to make glorious hand prints wherever they could, including the legs of Big Forest Folk!

Hands. These great manipulators at the end of our arms are vital to the play and activities that the Little Forest Folk undertake each day as they enter the woods and swamps of our forest.
Through reopening the base camp, the children had to call upon their hands for many things: pushing reeds, branches and plants out of their way as they investigated the old areas that they vaguely remembered from winter, now overgrown and bustling with plants towering above their heads; holding onto the swings that dangled tantalisingly from the thicker branches and sharing around the ropes to those waiting patiently to feel the wind in their hair; and tying capes, putting on coats and clutching brooms in the imaginative and hilarious role-playing that took the Little Forest Folk from cities riddled with baddies to space!
Although faces and hands have received particular attention this week, that’s not to say that legs, arms, and feet haven’t been essential to all the children’s games, scenes and investigations that filled Fishpond Wood this week!

Have a lovely weekend!

Little Forest Folk