The children were offered chalk pastels and paper of various sizes of rectangles. Some long, some squat, some large rectangular pages were used. The results were fantastic! One long piece of paper was filled with falling leaves and the tall tree trunk up the middle. Red, orange, yellow and green coloured sketched leaves covered their papers. Autumn is here and the children are contemplating the changes they see.
Sticks have a beautiful way of becoming whatever you imagine them to be!
What can we do with sticks? This was the question asked to the children today while out in the forest.
It takes time to adjust to new things.
Many children have never spent time in a woodland. The exploration about how to get there, how we and how we feel once there, and all the new uncomforts and wonderful discoveries brings up a lot of emotion.
We walked into the woods near the school.
We wondered how we could find worms.
Alp found a worm by singing to them!
Worms and slugs are usually the first minibeasts that children have close encounters with at our Forest School. They move slow and allow children to see and feel their cold bodies. It is an exciting moment with some children very keen to hold and touch them, while others are repulsed but interested. Experiences like this help children to understand that the forest has life in it, that this is a home for someone or something, and that we must respect that.
It takes time to get to know ourselves in a new space. We have to create a relationship with the space. During the first few weeks of Forest School we hear squeals of excitement, shudders of disgust, whining when hands get dirty, shouts of 'come see this!' and a whole lot of laughter.
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful!
– E.E. Cummings
While you are throwing your child’s outdoor clothes into the washing machine, instead of feeling frustrated that your child was playing in the mud, have a sit, put your feet up, and read this article from the New York Times about why dirt is so good for them!
A Little Dirt is Good For You
I wanted to share the videos I made while working towards gaining my Forest School Level 3 practitioner's award. This might help show a small bit of what the Forest School experience is...keep in mind, most of these videos is in -10 C or colder!
Just click on the links!
Day One - Getting to know the area
Day Two - Tracking, Den Building, Eva's Fire
Day Three - Preparing a Fire, Lashings for Den Building
Day Four - Fire Safety, Tracking, Lashings, Play
Day Five - BEST DAY EVER! (Or so was claimed on the way out of the forest!)
Day Six - Play, Practice our Skills, Reflection