Senior Infants use all their senses as they journey up to their base camp.
Their skills of observation are remarkable. Have a look at the hairs on the new beech leaves that they showed me.
Our focus plant this week is the Hawthorn.
Wishing Trees, May Bushes, Fairy Trees, or Rag Trees are hawthorn trees where people tie ribbons to ask blessings from the local saints/deities/wee folk. The hawthorn flowers in May, time of the Bealtaine festival of rebirth. Local people still tie ribbons or strips of colourful cloth to the wishing tree as a symbol of their prayers or wishes. If you visit in May or June, you’ll find wishing trees covered in colourful fabric and rippling in the breeze.
The children found a fairy trail through this hawthorn tree. It was a big challenge to make their way through as there were nettles. They wore their nettle stings with pride. There were no dock leaves but we found plantain ribwort instead.
The children made their own wish rags. They collected lots of different coloured leaves, grasses, and flowers to print on to their rags using Hapa Zome technique. Hapa Zome is the Japanese art of beating up leaves and flowers with hammers, pounding natural pigment into cloth.
- White fabric
- Black markers
- Stones for bashing.
The children placed their plants between the folded fabric. They used a stone or a block of wood to bash it. They could see the colour coming through the fabric. They were given black markers to draw or write their wishes.
We hung the wish rags on the hawthorn tree so the fairies could collect the wishes. We sat quietly watching the rags in the breeze and thought of our more private wishes.
Making Hawthorn Leaf Tea.
A Quiet Time Thinking of Our Wishes.
On the way back to our base camp the children were more aware of colour than previously. Here Patrick was comparing the different blues in the bluebells.
They chose to finish with a game that they learned two years ago at Forest Friday – Eagle Eye.