Our Week in the Forest...
Paint with all the colours of the wind
With the wind gaining strength midweek, it was thought best to give our forest some alone time and enjoy the sanctuary of our Scout Hut. Of course, this didn't put an end to our fun this week and 'Virginia’s Interactive Cooking Class' was open for business for two extra days and the children have recreated some wonderful recipes. The smell of oranges enveloped the air as the children got their hands messy by making their very own marmalade. They cut, squeezed and shredded their citrus fruits and mixed in copious amounts of golden honey. Whilst this sat on the stove in order to reach boiling point, Virginia's sous- chef (Linn) helped the children make their own bread. Several pairs of flour covered hands worked really hard kneading their individual bowls of dough before shaping them into little buns.
These tasty breads were enjoyed smeared in marmalade after supper. As bread appeared to be something the children enjoyed making, Virginia's kitchen flung its cookbook open to flat breads. This dough was enhanced with a few spoons of natural yogurt and then we used the rest of the yogurt to make Tzatziki dipping sauce. Children couldn't get enough of these wonderful gastro creations.
There are several benefits for children when they get to roll up their sleeves and learn to cook, they engage with mathematical concepts of weight, volume and measure as they follow recipes, carefully pouring out and levelling cups of flour and sugar and weighing their juicy oranges. Cooking is also a hugely fun science experiment as children observe what changes occur when ingredients are combined and the magical transformation that occurred when heat was applied to the oranges. There is also something very rewarding about getting to eat food that your very own hands have created.
Whilst children still love their water play in muddy puddles, this week offered a different experience when Xiao helped children fill trays with warm water adorned with soap suds. On the first day, the children chose to put the kitchen utensils into the trays which led to lots of role play as children pretended to be washing up, baking birthday cakes with icing made from whipped up bubbles and when the baking and washing up was complete, there was plenty of warm water left in the sink to wash the dollies too! On the second day, children chose to take the water play in a different direction when they scouted around the garden for pieces of pipe. In the tray, they attempted to piece them together and make water systems and put them to the test by pouring cups of water through them.
The black tarmac in the Scout Hut garden proved to be a wonderful canvas for children's art as they made paint from pieces of chalk and water and made beautiful pieces of brightly coloured art over the floor. One child said, "I painted the wind!".
The tarmac was also a great spot for some of the children to teach each other (and Christie) new games such as "Grandma's footsteps" - a few chosen children would turn their back whilst Christie and a flock of 2-5 year olds would tiptoe towards them. If the 'grandmas' turned around the children would have to freeze or be sent back to their starting positions. This also lead to children teaching Christie other games, "What's the time Mr Wolf" was given a unique spin and was called "What's the time Mr Witch?" and the sound of excited laughing and screaming that was a prelude to "it's dinner time" was a joy to hear. Playing games with rules is quite an advanced level of stages of play and this was yet another example of how marvellous it is to have children of mixed ages playing together, teaching one another and playing beyond their stage of development.
We hope you all have wonderful weekends and cannot wait to see what next week brings!
Little Forest Folk