Dalkey School Project/Forest Friday

Session 9

Today the children invited their parents to join them in the forest. The children were the leaders for their parents.

Senior Infants

Pine Grove Meeting Point

Children and parents each got a circle of plastic to draw a cloud on. They swapped circles and each had to find a shape of something in the cloud and draw in the details. Many people found animals and monsters in their clouds.

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When all the children and adults gathered into their groups. the children led their parents up to their base camps.IMG_1330 copy

The children showed their parents how to play their favourite game – Eagle Eye and then had free play. During this time most children and parents built dens.

After snack break we played the mystery guess game – Who nose?


We collected hawthorn leaves and made tea.


How the dragonfly came to be (Bulgarian folktale)

God had been very busy. She had been making all kinds of creatures for days. She thought it was time that she sat back in her chair in her workshop and had a bit of a rest because her materials were beginning to run and she was beginning to run out of creativity. Poor thing. So there she was, sitting back, dozing off (sound effects) when …

Ribbit, flop, ribbit, flop, … into her workshop came a frog.

“Uh, God, hello, uh, you’ve given me these really weird eyes. Whenever I look out of them, I see hundreds of things. I’m never sure if I’m looking at one thing or what’s going on. It makes catching dinner very tricky. Is there any chance you could replace them with something that I could just see one thing out of?”

God woke up and looked down and saw that yes indeed the frog had very odd looking eyes.

“Well, yes, you see, I’ve only got one pair of eyes left and they’re still a bit damp. I haven’t quite finished them. You can have those. Is that alright?”

“Oh yes. Anything will do. Thanks God.”

So God reached forward and she pulled out the eyes that were there and popped them on her workbench. And he got the ones that weren’t quite ready yet and popped them into the frog’s eyes.

The frog wiped his eyes a little bit as they were a bit damp. And when he opened them he saw clearly for the first time.

“Thank you so much God. I’m off to get some dinner as I haven’t been able to catch anything.”

Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.

God was very happy because she had a satisfied customer and dozed off in her armchair when…

Bzzzz, spluh, bzzzz, spluhh….

Closer and closer came a very small, fairy like insect with very large wings. Closer and closer towards the workshop, into the door frame and in onto the workbench came this creature. God opened her eyes and saw a bumble bee with very large wings.

“God, god, em, these wings are terrible. I can’t fly with them. Is there any chance you could take them off and put some smaller ones on because I just can’t control them. “

God looked at the wings and said, “Ah, yes, they do look a little bit big. Um, yes I do have some very small ones. I’m not sure that they’ll be quite big enough but we can try.”

“Oh anything will do. It’s gotta be better than these ones.”

God reached forward and slowly took the four wings out of the bee and there they were. He put them back on the bench and reached into the drawer where there were four little wings and popped them onto the bee.

“Oh, that’s much better. Thank you so much. Thanks God. Bzzzzz, bzzzzz, bzzzzz.”

God was very happy and could hear the happy birds singing outside as well and she thought I do love some of these sounds and she drifted off listening…(snoring). And just then …. Stumble, stumble, trip, stumble, stumble, trip …..

“Oh God. God. Are you awake? Oh bother.”

Closer and closer came a little ball of a body with loads of legs sticking out of it.

“God, wake up. You’ve asked me to go and make webs but I can’t make anything. I’ve got way too many legs. They keep on getting into a tangle. Can you take some of them off?”

God looked down at the floor and climbing up the side of the workbench was a spider and it had loads of legs.

“Oh, sorry”, said God, “em, I can take a few off if you have too many.”

“Oh yes. Definitely. I think I’ve got 14 but I’m not sure. Perhaps, take off 6. That leaves me with 8. I might be able to manage with them.”

God reached down and carefully plucked off 6 legs and put them carefully on the workbench.

“Oh that’s fantastic. Thanks God. I’ll have much more success now.”

And off went spider happy and co-ordinated.

So God leaned back in her armchair and looked out into the world and thought there were so many beautiful things out there and fell back asleep. (snoring) And she was just drifting off when a complainy, whingy voice got closer and closer….

“God, God. It’s just not fair. Everyone keeps on picking on me. Can you give me a different coloured tail. I’ve got this bright blue tail and all the birds keep on coming down and pecking at it and poking at it and I don’t feel good about myself at all. Sometimes the tail just drops off and it just wriggles there and I think oh what’s happening and another grows back but it’s the same colour. Is there any chance you could give me a different colour tail and the birds won’t pick on me?”

God opened her eyes and said, “you poor thing lizard. Yes, I’m sure I’ve got one here. I’ve got a brown one. It’s not very brightly coloured but how about that?”

“Oh that’d be great.”

So God reached forward and plucked out the lizard’s long blue tail and plopped it on the work bench and gave lizard a long brown one and fixed it in and made sure it waggled properly.

Lizard looked around and said, “oh that’s much better. Stripy and brown. Thank you so much.” And off he went into the distance.

God looked around and saw the piles of things on her workbench and thought there was enough there to make another creature. (Here the storyteller used pine cones, sticks and leaves to show how the creature was made.)

IMG_1392 copy She dug in and picked up the two big googly eyes and stuck them into the ground and then added the legs 1,2,3,4,5,6. And then there was the tail. And finally the wings.

And God thought, that looks pretty good and breathed magic breath into it. And there was a dragon fly and off it went out to hunt on the ponds and around the lakes.

Minibeast Hunt

The children brought their parents on a  bug hunt

‘Rotting logs provide an excellent habitat for a bug hunt. Some beetles need rotting wood to provide food for young grubs as soon as they are hatched. Both slugs and snails like the moist conditions in the damp ground beneath a log. Lift moss on rotting logs to look for tiny spiders and larvae. Look for signs of bugs too, sometimes cobwebs and cocoons and snail trails are just as interesting as the creatures themselves. Notice their natural habitat so they can be returned there. Gently put a selection of bugs in the bug containers.’

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Using pencils and cardboard they drew things they noticed about their bugs.

Land Art

With this information they went foraging to find textures and colours to make their bug on the forest floor using forest materials.


Sit spot – a time of quiet.IMG_1389 copy

Second Class

Teaching parents the rules for Eagle Eye.IMG_1391 copy

Collecting minibeasts.

Observation and drawing minibeasts

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Land Art

Sit SpotIMG_1443 copy


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