Forest School

Some of the children had to work inside the shed for today’s Forest School as it was so windy! They used mallets to create hapazome prints using leaves, petals and berries which they printed onto cotton. Other children hunted for bugs, made birthday mud pies, led friends around a rope whilst being blindfolded and climbed trees. As a special treat, all children (and adults!) enjoyed a smore – they melted a marshmallow by the fire and then sandwiched it between 2 chocolate biscuits. YUM!

This week’s session began with a game of ‘Giants, Wizards and Elves’ which was enjoyed by all! The children then made magic wands and potions which fizzed and bubbled, played under the shelter, created food in the mud kitchen and hunted for bugs. Some children played with the blindfold rope challenge whereas others used their magic wands to turn each other into frogs and goats! After a quick break for hot chocolate and a biscuit, the children continued to their earlier activities. We then realised we could use the charcoal from the fire to make treasure maps on cotton which we then tried to follow to find the treasure!

It snowed again! This time Group B got to enjoy playing in the snow. We started by playing ‘secret sticks’ where the children had to secretly place a stick near the leader’s feet without being noticed. We spotted some green shoots appearing amongst the mud and snow. We thought they might either be daffodils, bluebells or snowdrops. We can’t wait to see what appears! To protect them from being trampled, we created frames around them using sticks – it was fun to try and spot the shoots hidden around the woods! The children then enjoyed a variety of activities. Some children played in the snow, whilst others made some frozen art. Some children climbed trees, others played under the shelter and some made mud maps. Every child enjoyed making a magic wand and a magic potion which fizzed and bubbled! We lit a fire, heated up some water in the kelly kettle and enjoyed a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up!

It was Group A’s turn to use their first tool today. It was our first session in the rain so we put up a shelter and worked one at a time to use a peeler to whittle a skewer. Other children enjoyed using the new table and benches and created a mud kitchen restaurant. Many children hunted for bugs and played in the rain! After a while, we lit and fire and took it in turns to kneel by the fire to roast a marshmallow. 7 out of 15 children didn’t like roasted marshmallows, despite never trying them. Once we discussed ‘having a go’ and trying something before deciding we didn’t like it, every single child tasted a roasted marshmallow. 15 out of 15 children decided they loved roasted marshmallows!!

Group B had their “best day ever” at Forest School today! They started by playing ‘secret spies’ and were brilliant at hiding. Some children then made muddy bird’s nests, others made natural mobiles and learnt how to tie knots. Some children looked for bugs, whilst others climbed trees and played in the mud kitchen. Every child then had the opportunity to use their first tool. They listened to the tool talk and how to keep safe when using tools. They then used a peeler to whittle a stick into a skewer. Afterwards we lit a fire and they used their skewers to roast marshmallows! Delicious!

Group A braved the minus temperatures today and had a wonderful time playing in the snow! They discovered dinosaur bones and animal footprints on the snowy field. They loved playing ‘secret spies’ and found some brilliant hiding places. Some children made frozen decorations to hang from the trees using leaves and berries. We then enjoyed a hot chocolate using hot water from the fire!

Group B enjoyed their 2nd session in the freezing cold today! We all wrapped up in lots of layers to ensure we were still toasty warm. The children loved ‘the floor is lava’ and thought it was hilarious when Mrs Eadie and Mr MacLeod tried to get their feet off the ground. They enjoyed the blindfold rope activity – especially trying to direct Mrs Millington round the trees without banging into them – she only bumped her head 3 times! To warm us up, we lit a fire for the first time. We talked about the fire triangle and what was needed to light and extinguish a fire. We then heated some water in the kelly kettle and enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate. Even those who thought they wouldn’t like it were brave enough to try something new and loved it! The rest of the afternoon was spent climbing trees, playing in the mud kitchen, hunting for bugs and spotting Autumn leaves.

During their 2nd session, Group A played a game of ‘the floor is lava’. The children (and adults – Mrs Eadie!!) were very creative in getting their feet off the ground! The children noticed lots of litter on the ground so we started with a litter pick. Then they had a choice of activities, from identifying Autumn leaves, to hunting for bugs and playing in the mud kitchen. A new activity was a rope challenge where one child was blindfolded and their friend had to guide them along a rope through the trees by giving them directions. They all wanted to play this next time too! After a biscuit and a drink, they decided they wanted to climb trees and build dens. The sun started to shine through the trees and it was such a joy to watch the children so happy in their learning and exploring.

Children in Year 1 have had their very first Forest School sessions! After getting into our waterproof coats and trousers, we walked over to the wooded area to explore! We listened to the rules of Forest School and played a game of hide and seek. The children then led their own learning by choosing the activities they wanted to take part in. Some children chose to use the bug hunting equipment to look for worms, spiders, ants and woodlice. Others cooked up unusual recipes in the mud kitchen. A few children completed a rainbow scavenger hunt by looking for natural items from each colour of the rainbow. A group of children decided they wanted to climb trees, whereas another group used sticks and leaves to create a den. After a chocolate biscuit and a reflection on the session so far, children continued their activities before heading back to the classroom to get changed and tell their friends all about their adventures.