The children began this week with their activities on picnic blankets. Each group had a different box from last week. Once everyone arrived we divided them into their three pre-arranged groups.
This week our focus tree was the pine. On our way up to the base camp we stopped at different pine trees. We smelt, looked and touched the needles, bark and resin and found lots of pine cones on the ground. Needles were picked and put in our teapot for later.
Up at the base camp we played a memory game – five objects were picked from inside the boundaries and shown to the children. The children were encouraged to use their senses to remember them. The objects were covered up and the children went off to find matches for the objects.
Our story this week was about the Pine and making a home for animals. Pine and Holly story from –https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/fcms128.pdf/$file/fcms128.pdf
We discussed how we might build shelters for our creatures we created last week.
“Where does your woodland creature live? Look around your base camp. Does he/she live in the high rocks, in the trees, underground or a tepee hut? What will you need to make a cosy home? Do we need to take a foraging walk outside the camp for more materials?”
Some children chose to work together while others were very happy to work on their own home.
At the end we visited each other’s homes. The children were very generous with their praise.
Finishing with a quiet time in the forest.
On the way up to base camp the class also explored pine trees and collected needles for tea. We found other plants we could eat – new beach leaves, wood sorrel and wild garlic.
Free play – skipping with an ivy vine.
While the children were having lunch we played a mystery guess game – I gave clues about an animal and they had to guess. They also had the story of the Pine and the Holly.
We discussed how we would make a den and where would be the best place in the base camp. They came up with two suitable places and chose the one that had two trees and a wall to attach the structure on to.
The den had to be –
1) Big enough for someone to sit in
2) Comfy enough for someone to sleep in
3) Have a beautiful view from the entrance.
We started with the structure. We went off to collect very large branches to build the basic structure. The children showed great team work. They put up the basic structure and then we stopped to plan and consider what to do next.
They were given drawing tools – pens and pencils, and card.
During these weeks in the forest I want to develop drawing. Children as this stage often think of drawing as a picture and it should be good/pretty. Over the weeks I would like them to see that drawing can be a way to organise their thoughts and to be able to share ideas by explaining through their drawings.
We sat in a circle so we could share ideas. There were amazing ideas, a skylight to be able to see the leaves of the trees during the day and the night sky, a shelf to put food; wild garlic, beach leaves and wood sorrel on. Beds made of soft leaves etc.
Having shared their drawings they were able to work really well on ideas together.
A clothes line made from an Ivy vine.
The skylight from inside the den looking up at the leaves.
A stone plate with wild food and cones for candles.
Finishing the day with a quiet time.