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Forest School Blog

Archive for the ‘Spring Term 2020’ Category

Valentine’s Hearts

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

It was too windy today to go out into the woods, so we stayed in Hollies instead and spent the morning creating Valentine hearts!

We use some Willow cuttings from the Forest School garden, to create these beautiful hearts…

We started by twisting wire around the bottom and middle of 2 willow sticks, then bent the  tops around and tied them on, in order to create the heart shape.

We also made these heart shaped bird feeders, using cranberries and cheerios.

We hung them up on the willow tunnel at the end of the morning…

We also drew what we loved about Forest School, and made these lovely natural hearts using a selection of resources.


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!

Birds and seeds and lots of fun

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Firs class started their morning with a bird picture treasure hunt this week…

After finding lots of different birds, the children looked carefully at the bigger bird pictures that were pegged up in the woods…and matched their pictures to them.

On offer this week was the  opportunity to make some bird feeders. We mixed together some lard and bird seed, then pressed  the mixture into small pots. The children chose where to hang them in the woods…

Also this week, we developed fine motor skills using bands stretched around pine cones! An interesting activty that many children enjoyed…

…as well as playing with and rolling acorns, pine cones and conkers…super fun!

Soup and croissants on a cold day

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Acers were brilliant this morning! They listened carefully to all the safety instructions and behaved perfectly around the  fire-circle.

We learnt how to use the fire strikers to start a fire, we sorted sticks into the  correct sizes and we all helped to add sticks to keep the fire going.

Once the fire was strong enough, we poured some soup into the dutch oven and placed it on top of the fire…

Then we wrapped croissant dough around some long, clean sticks, whilst we waited for  the soup to cook and the fire to die down a little. We held the dough over the embers and watched as they cooked and changed colour.

We all tried some soup and croissants-they were delicious and certainly warmed us all up!


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!

Choo-choo…here comes the rope train!

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Oaks children were very inventive this week…creating a great game with a rope, that turned into a train! The train driver led the way, with passengers joining along the route. Not only was it great fun, but also demonstrated lots of developing social skills and negotiation, a huge amount of problem solving (especially when the  rope became wrapped around trees), and plenty of language and communication skills.

One of the activities on offer was colour matching-looking closely at a selection of natural objects and finding similar colour cards. This promoted lots of discussion…

Oaks children also had the opportunity to use and play with some number stones-using them for counting, adding, ordering and matching…and some of the class had fun investigating the mini-beast discovery table…

The outdoor ‘loose parts’ store was well used too…with drainpipes, tubes, cable reels, ropes, wooden planks and foam bricks all featuring in this ball run!

As always, a lovely happy morning all round.


Squirrel Obstacles, a Wormery and Sorting…dead or alive!

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

This morning, Acers began their session fulfilling a request from last week-which was to play ‘1,2,3…where are you’. They took turns to hide and respond to the  call of ‘1,2,3 where are you?’…with a loud shout- ‘1,2,3 I’m here!’ Everyone really enjoyed calling out or listening for where the hidden sounds were coming from!

Then we gathered in the log circle to discuss today’s activities. Some children chose to help design and make a squirrel obstacle course, using any of the many resources available. We were astounded at how creative the ideas were!

We started off by making a zip wire-the children tied a rope between two trees and clipped a pot onto it. The squirrel could sit in it and whizz from one end to the other!

Next came a swing…followed by a slide- with a barrier of bricks at the end to stop the squirrel falling off!

Next they added a balance beam, then a wooden pathway and at the end it was completed with a large pole to climb up. The pole was fitted into a big hole, which took a long time to dig!

Everyone was very proud of their hard work…and we think that lots of woodland creatures might be enjoying this over the next week!

Also today, we created a wormery. We dug for soil, carefully removing any stones or sticks. The soil was placed into the  wormery, and alternated with layers of sand. We found and added lots of worms too.

Then we added some leaves and covered the wormery over, as worms prefer it to be dark. We’ll be watching the worms move up and down the  wormery over the next week or so and will making sure we spray it with water and add a few scraps of fruit or salad leaves so the worms have plenty to eat.

Lastly today, we talked about what we could see in the forest, that was living/dead/had never been alive. It was a bit tricky sometimes, but we all had a go at sorting out the things we’d found into the different groups.


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!

Puppets, printing and play

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Oaks had a great time this week, using the stage area to put on a puppet show. There was much laughter as the woodland animal puppets danced, sang songs and played peekaboo!

Some children enjoyed using the mini-beast stampers…

…whilst others investigated our mini-beast discovery table.

And everyone had fun whilst learning and playing together.


Acers amazing animal homes

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Acers are proving to be a fabulous class to work with! Today they started off their morning, recapping the number line activity we did at the beginning of last week’s session…except this time we asked them to stand next to the number of animal homes they thought they could name independently…

Everyone chose their numbers well! And  if, when asked to tell us the names of the animal homes, they realised they were standing by the incorrect number, Acers children then worked out whether they should move up or down the  number line.

Last week, after our nest building activity, some of the class asked if they could make some homes for other animals…so that is exactly what we did! Mrs. Smith set a challenge to build a home that would keep a woodland animal dry, safe and warm. We looked at some of the woodland animal toys, got into teams and then worked together to make these amazing creations!

Team 1 made a home for a mum and dad squirrel. They started off at the end of the see-saw as they thought that the plank made a good roof. Then they added hay to keep the squirrels warm, planks of wood to protect them and keep them dry…and a long pathway leading up to the entrance.

Team 2 chose a mouse. They built walls from bricks, then built a roof to cover the mouse, using sticks to balance over the top of the bricks. They found a piece of artificial grass in out outdoor store and used that to make a  garden for the mouse. Then they added more planks to the roof to make sure the mouse stayed dry and finished off by making a playground complete with tunnel, and a wall all around the edge of the garden!

Team 3 looked for a tree for their squirrel…and decided on a large tree stump on the ground. They cleared out the leaves to make the inside clean, added straw to make a soft dry bed, then protected the squirrel by covering the outside in long sticks. We talked about how well disguised he looked inside his finished home!

When all 3 teams had finished, we took turns to look at each home, to ask and answer questions about it. We also decided what we liked about them all. All 3 teams were very proud of their work and enjoyed a round of applause from their classmates.

Before hot chocolate, a biscuit and our reflection time, we had the opportunity to choose our own activities. One of the  favourites today was retelling the story of the 3 little pigs in the  playhouse…there was much laughter and squealing at the naughty wolf!