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Archive for the ‘Willows’ Category

Hammering Fun

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Willows loved using the hammers again this afternoon… this time to knock some nails into a plank of wood. They remembered that they needed to wear a glove on their helper hand, and all concentrated well on gently hammering the nails.

We also did a bit of ‘cooking’ and experimenting…

Bird watching proved to be popular last week, so we got the binoculars and bird ID sheets out again. This week, we looked at pictures of woodpeckers and tried really hard to spot one…we knew it was close by in our woods because we heard it lots of times today!





Hammers and paint

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Another lovely afternoon for Willows this week. They returned to the bug hotel which we had all worked on a couple of weeks ago, and helped to make it look even better!

They used a hammer to break up some coloured chalk and  once it was in powdered form, they added some water to make chalk paint. (click the pictures to enlarge)

They used the paint to decorate the bug hotel…

Willows also helped out our woodland birds, by filling up the bird feeders.

And enjoyed using the binoculars to see which birds they could spot in the trees. Although we didn’t see it, we did hear our woodpecker, who has lived in our woods for many years!


Thursday, 30 January 2020

Last week, Willows children used the loppers for the first time, whilst helping to put together the bug hotel. They were so careful and sensible, that some of them had the  opportunity to use the loppers again this week…this time to help cut back some of the overgrown holly. They made a good job of trimming the overgrowth, and made one of the  hammocks-that had prickly branches hanging over it-much safer to use.

Willows children also enjoyed pattern making with natural resources…look at this well thought out 2:1:1:1 repeated pattern-

The mud kitchen had a hard working chef, who cooked up a marvellous mud meal, and the swings and hammocks were, as always, very happy places to be!

Willows rescue the Bug Hotel!

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Willows worked together this week, to help repair the Bug Hotel, which was looking a bit shabby and in need of attention.

Willows started off by helping to build up the layers of pallets, adding bricks between each one…

Then everyone helped to fill pots, and the spaces between the pallets, with natural resources such as leaves, sticks, stones, pine cones, straw and vegetation. What a team Willows were! They all worked really hard and made a great job of filling the hotel with different habitats…

Some children used the loppers to cut lengths of bamboo-the hollow sticks will make great hidey holes for lots of different insects.

The completed bug hotel-ready to attract lots of new residents!

Buckets of fun…

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

This morning, Firs class investigated simple pulleys, enjoying working out how to lift the buckets up and drop them back down to the ground. We added stones to feel different weights and to see how much harder we had to pull to raise the  buckets…

“I wonder if I can lift myself up?…”


During the afternoon, Willows class also had a go at using the buckets. Some of the children were able to work out which bucket was heavier and then thought about how they could make it lighter…

We also had a go at decorating the tee-pee den…both classes selected ribbons to weave in and out of the strings…

And in the digging pit today, some dinosaurs had appeared! Firs enjoyed playing with them – using the logs and stumps as their homes…whilst children in Willows worked on creating different areas for the  dinosaurs to play in-including a fabulous swimming pool lined with pebbles.

It’s always great to get really stuck into an activity! This mud kitchen meal was lovingly prepared-each leaf, stick and stone carefully chosen before being added to the mix…

What a lovely, self directed shared activity…a game of peekaboo in the hammock, with shouts of ‘more!’ coming from inside!

And more shared play, a chance to practise core body strength by balancing on a moving skateboard, counting and sorting…and exploring the bushes looking for fairies!!

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Conkers proved to be very popular today, due to our exciting conker run! Both Firs and Willows enjoyed rolling them down the long tubes and listening out for the sound as the conkers rolled into the crates at the end.

Firs class loved painting with mud last time they were out in Forest School, so we re-visited this today…with the added  twist of using their hand prints to give their spider pictures some legs…

Many of the children in Firs are very new to school (and Forest School) but they have settled brilliantly and although it’s only their 3rd session, they’re now showing us how much more adventurous, curious and confident they can be!

Willows started off their afternoon watching a beautiful white -bottomed bumble bee, who looked as if she was a little weary. She sat on this stick flapping her wings, but didn’t have the energy to fly away. Some of  the  children were fascinated in watching her.

Everyone was fully immersed in their chosen activities. From collecting natural resources, to cooking in the mud kitchen, using tools, swinging, and looking closely at plants, all of the children were focused, engaged and happily communicating with the adults and one another…

And what a lovely end to their half term of lessons…the fairy village had a beautiful and very careful make-over today! Just look at how great it looks after it had been worked on by our very clever little girl and some of her friends…

Willows paint the forest…

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Willows have been working on creating a pirate boat for the  last few weeks. Today they learnt how to make chalk paint, and used it to paint the mast and parts of the boat. First they hammered some chalk to make a fine powder, then stirred in water…then found somewhere to paint!

The fairy village also got a very special make-over this afternoon. It’s never looked so colourful and welcoming!

We also enjoyed some super counting…firstly making conker snakes, followed by this 1-10 number line…

As you can see, Willows are loving their time out in Forest School. They are always busy learning, talking and communicating and are interested and enthusiastic about all the things they discover.

A mud-making, special swinging, boat building day!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

What a brilliant time we had this week in Forest School! Firs class had a fantastic morning enjoying all sorts of fun things including trying out the pulley system, mixing and painting with mud, investigating acorns, climbing and trying out our new sideways swinging skateboard…

The children from Willows class had just as much fun in the afternoon. They started off by preparing the sail they had made last week. We threaded some string along the edge, attached it to the ‘pirate ship’ and ‘shiver me timbers’-our ship was ready to sail! Many adventures were had…the seas were rough, sharks attacked and some of the class had to walk the plank! What great imagination and super language…

In a quiet corner of our site, there was a different kind of magic going on… the discovery of some little fairy houses. After knocking on the door, having a chat and asking the fairies some lovely questions, this clever girl discovered some skeleton leaves, which we were sure were fairy wings! Maybe next week the fairies will be back?

The afternoon was full of exploratory investigation and learning. Willows really love their Wednesday afternoons.



Oaks and Willows have a wonderful Wednesday

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

This morning was the first time out in Forest School for Oaks class. As we headed out the door, one of our children remembered the tadpoles he had seen in the summer term and asked if they were still there…so we started off in our garden, and had a look in the pond. We were very lucky! After a couple of minutes we saw a big frog jump out from the side, into the pond and then swim away to hide in the reeds!

Oaks all enjoyed a lovely morning exploring the site and finding out all the different things they could do…

Willows also had a wondrful Wednesday! Last week, some of the children had played on our new pallet boat…but noticed that it didn’t have a sail. We used a tea towel last week, but this week, we set about making our own much bigger sail. We used things from our site-blackberries, elderberries and big fern leaves, to hammer and squash onto a cloth…

We were really impressed with the end result.

Also this afternoon, we’ve cooked with acorns and investigated crushing them, played lots of turn taking games and enjoyed a bit of sunshine and happiness.



First time fun for Firs and Willows

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Two new classes enjoyed the start of their Forest School sessions this week. From our youngest, newest children, to those who’ve been with us for years, everyone enjoyed exploring, investigating, discovering and learning…

Trying out the new stage… telling us the ‘Forest News’-complete with stick microphone!

Learning about capacity, counting, ordering size, investigating materials, learning about nature and wildlife…the digging pit was a hive of activity!

Using physical skills, trying out skills for the first time, perfecting balance and climbing…

Focusing attention and finding out…sharing and communicating with others…measuring, dividing, weighing…counting and matching.

Absolute joy and lots of laughter in the hammock!!

Discovering and looking closely at nature…we found fungi and this amazing earwig shedding it’s skin!