Forest School Jan 30th 2017
Posted 31/01/2017 21:01 : By: EdKenyon
"It's a bit tricky!"
"We're just stirring the marshmallows!"
"I'm collecting bananas for the monster."
"Look! There's a tiny, tiny hole here! I found it!"
"Do you want to be the daddy wolf?"
"What lives in there? Nothing! Bye!"
"Ship ahoy! We're pirates!"
"Let's give him (mouse) chocolate ice cream. And strawberry ice cream. Splat it on there! He will eat it soon!"
"How does the mouse get here? On a bus! Mouses don't actually go on a bus. They go on a mouse bus!"
These wonderful words - a few brief snippets - all came from the children during our Forest School experience this week. They show the myriad of different thoughts, feelings and experiences which the children have, prompted only by nature and some careful guidance from the adults. Yet really it is the connection between the children and the natural world which unlocks their creativity and showcases their amazing spontaneity and sense of wonder.
Being interested in the world around you is a valuable life skill - essential to play a full part in one's community, wherever that may be. Enabling children to develop that natural curiosity and interest is a huge part of what we do at Forest School. When given time to just 'be', the children 'see' so much more than the adults.
Combine this with the physical challenge and the multitude of problem-solving scenarios they encounter (how do I climb up on to this log; how can we move this big bit of wood; can I jump down from this log; can I find an easier way through this etc) and their brain pathways are actually being forged and stimulated.
Once again, we set a new record for the length of time taken to reach Camp! Newly felled trees provided far too much interest (who cut them down; what's all this sawdust; clambering and balancing), as did giant muddy puddles (monster hot chocolate). After lunch around the camp fire we set off in search of the woodpecker we had heard but it proved elusive today - only tapping away again once we had reached the edge of the wood.
We finished off with 'real' marshmallows in our 'real' hot chocolate - tasty, but not as interesting as mud marshmallows in the monster's hot chocolate (muddy puddle)! Then a quick dash back to the bus as time had, once again, caught up with our woodland adventurers.