Wimbledon - wide-eyed delight

Our Week in the Forest...

Clad in blue hi-vis vests, a new, slightly taller group of children – some familiar friends and some new faces -  descended into the forest. 
They came cautiously at first, but soon the Little Forest Folk opened their woods to them and before you can say “Look out for those dinosaurs!” all were playing, climbing, laughing and making mischief together under sun and sky.
Weather. Sun, cloud, rain, warmth and cold, this first week of holiday camps has given us most of the seasons in a few short days. Lots of different weather allows for lots of different play, however, and the reformed puddles in the recesses of the forest floor brought wide-eyed delight to the children as the first took timid steps into the brown water and were then speedily followed by their more heavy-footed peers causing tsunami-sized splashes and giggles from those avoiding getting caught in muddy fallout.
In the warmer weather, too, fascination abounded as the children have really got to grips with the biology of brambles and the advantages of extra sunshine in ripening their favourite forest fruits. Each day there are buckets more of the blackberries (literally, the children collect them by the bucket load!) and each child has their own way of utilising or storing them: as a face paint or transformative mask; squished and squashed to make jam or paint; kept in cups for easy transportation home; stored in buckets to hold the masses picked; and plucked to see the firmness of the different colours – one of the Big Forest Folk guessed that black was the softest but was instantly corrected that “Green is softest and black is hardest, because this is opposite world!”

Dinosaurs. Who knew that Fishpond Wood contained creatures that were previously thought to be extinct? Well never fear, the dino hunters are here to round up all of the pesky pliosaurs, silly stegosaurs and terrible pterosaurs. Using nets to capture these dinosaurs, which were running amok through the meadow, the hunters took them back to their cages where a plethora of security measures (including telling them not to go anywhere!) were implemented to ensure the dinosaurs didn’t bother anyone else. Unfortunately, dinosaurs are smarter than you’d think and often bested the hunters who had to begin their work all over again!
Trampolines. It has long been considered a problem that trampolines don’t occur naturally in the wild, or at least not in Fishpond Wood. This causes potential problems when our Little Forest Folk want to bounce. Luckily, with a bit of ingenuity from the children, they can manufacture their own bouncing devices. Slack lines are pretty effective for jumping practise and the children enjoyed making their way along these and back again, testing their balance and agility in how quickly they can shimmy along and how high they can get. When the slack lines no longer offered the requisite thrill, the children got creative with a long plank and a pallet and made a trampoline board to bounce down. This brand new bouncing invention gave the children sky-high height combined with a brilliant way of getting down a ramp!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Little Forest Folk