Wimbledon - Whittle While You Work

Our Week in the Forest...

"Whittle While You Work...Da La La La La La La!" 
Could it be that Spring has sprung? Probably not, but with the Hazel trees adorning their catkins, Daffodil shoots rising up from the earth and the sun bringing gloriously warm and bright days, it has certainly felt like it. Being able to have some respite from wearing mittens, some children have been seeking activities that have allowed them to practice their fine motor skills. One of these activities has been whittling.
Children have been choosing what they would like to make and it would appear that children are still interested in puppets from last week and decided to make little people. They whittled a section of a thick stick for them to draw a face on and a pair of arms were attached to the body using yarn. There are the obvious physical development benefits when children get chance to use tools such as fine motor dexterity, hand eye co-ordination and developing core muscles needed for keeping the upper body straight and movements that use shoulder muscles. Even though all of these skills will play a huge role in handwriting development, we can't forget the sheer joy that is delivered from being able to work independently on a creation that is entirely your own and meeting success. Educators also noticed how tasks like this completely absorb children's concentration. In the world of early years education, the magic that happens when motivation and focus are high is known as 'the flow state' and it allows children to become completely lost in the moment, no sooner finishing a project and requesting that they get to do another one! 

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The glorious sunshine also saw the face paints wake from their winter slumber and children have been even more exuberant (if that's possible) in their dramatic play as Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, Power Rangers and 'Blue Man' did battle with a Gavin-Monster or chasing off a witch who seen running around the meadow on their broomstick. 
As children were really interested in making jet packs last week, this week they have been experimenting with carbon dioxide and water to make thrust. Children have been decorating Robinson Fruit-Shoot bottles as rockets and adding fizzy tablets and water inside, and placing their rocket (drinking end down) inside a cup. From a safe distance, they watched as the bubbles filled the empty space at the top of the bottle with gas. This trapped gas builds pressure which eventually pushes the water out of the bottle and this thrust sends the rocket either straight up in the air or we saw many times - jumping out over the cup and spinning in the air! This is a great way of combining science, math and art & design (with a huge amount of fun added) and who knows, maybe one day a Little Forest-Folk-er will be inventing tomorrow's space craft...it’s up to us to keep fuelling their dreams! 
We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and the gorgeous weather continues for you. 

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Little Forest Folk