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Archive for the ‘Acers’ 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.


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!

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.


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!

Games, sorting, remembering and making…

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Acers had a wonderful morning, proving how  much they had learnt and remembered from last week’s session.

We started off with a number line activity…everyone decided which numbers they should stand in front of…depending on how many forest animals they thought they could name. We tested them out and the children were surprisingly accurate!

Then we looked again at all the animal pictures and recapped the names of their homes. Next we sorted the habitats into 3 groups-underground, on the  ground and above the ground…

Next we played the circle game introduced last week…making it a  little harder this week by calling out the names of the homes (den/warren/nest/sett etc) instead of the animal names. Acers had to look at their picture and respond to their home by running around the outside of the circle. They really enjoyed playing this game and showed us how well they are learning this new information, by responding correctly and at times very quickly!

Then we headed back to the log circle to listen to a story-‘The Best Nest’. You can listen to it here…

We looked at a real nest that had been made by a robin, and decided to have a go at making some nests ourselves. We worked together to find small sticks to make a nest shape on the ground…

The robin loved his comfy nest, complete with soft leaves to line the bottom

These boys worked really well together to make a spectacular nest, complete with a door, a long stick at the side to guard it and upright sticks around the edge to protect it!

Well done Acers…what a brilliant morning we all had.


Acers Habitat Trail

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

It was Acers first time out in Forest School today, and they worked super hard learning the names of lots of woodland creatures…and also the names of their homes. They searched high and low around the site, looking for pictures of different animals and then matched them to pictures of different animal homes and habitats.

Back in the log circle we all practised naming the animal homes…we made funny actions to help us remember and we all called out as loud as we could!

Fox-Den…Rabbit-Warren…Badger-Sett…Squirrel-Drey…Mouse-Burrow…Bird-Nest…Worm-Soil and so on!

Then we played a circle game-we all chose an animal card and listened as Mrs Smith called out different animal names (then afterwards, the name of the animal homes.) Everyone listened carefully for their animal or animal home…and ran round the outside of the circle when the name matched their picture. It was great fun! And everyone tried very hard to remember this new information.

Acers really enjoyed their independent explorations of our site too…

And they were brilliant at choosing and completing their own sentences during our reflection time…“I was  good at finding all the different animals” “I liked it when we played the game” “I was happy when I made my own animal home” “Next time I want to go on the skateboard swing”

Well done Acers…what a lovely start to the new term.

Hot Chocolate Forest School style

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Acers had their last Forest School session this week. We were sad to say goodbye, but had a great time making the most of our last time in the fire circle. We used the kelly kettle to make our hot chocolate for snack time. And enjoyed all sorts of activities during the morning.

Marshmallow smores…

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Acers worked together to help make a fire today…this week we used some bigger logs so that we had enough heat to toast marshmallows. Everyone enjoyed taking part, and the end result of a marshmallow squashed between two biscuits was delicious!

We all took turns to put on the fire gloves and add some sticks to the fire bowl.

Once all the  logs were on, we stood a little closer to warm up our hands…

Then we used long sticks to toast our marshmallows

Eating them was the best bit!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

All the children in Acers are taking turns to learn how to build a fire and practice how to light it. This lovely group of 3 were very excited to have their turn  today, and not only listened very carefully, but also remembered and told the  rest of the class the 3 principles of fire lighting at the end of the session.

Sorting sticks from the thinnest to the thickest

The children worked together to find and sort sticks for the fire, then carefully added them a few at a time. We enjoyed warming our hands up and  watching the sticks change colour and shape.


The rest of the class were busy too…measuring length and time.

We found a long stick then a shorter stick…and added shorter and shorter ones each time to make this pattern

Acers ace morning

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Another lovely morning for Acers class today…fire lighting, creating, working together, learning and discovering!

Learning what sticks to use, and how to sort them…

What a lot of fun we had whilst learning…!