Having introduced some tadpoles and newts to the bog at the weekend I thought some pond dipping would be in order. We didn’t manage to find any tadpoles, I suspect that they heard us coming, but we did enjoy the process, look at the duck weed and investigate whatever our nets found.
Woodland animals had homes made for them, the clay was out to make our own bog babies and the bubbles went down very well – using loppers to cut some willow wands and elder for bubble pipes.
At the last Monday Home Ed Session there was a lot of interest in tools … so today the idea was to just create and to provide the possibilities of using different tools. Hammers & nails, palm drills, bow saw, pen knives and tent pegs for removing the elder middle.
Lots of imaginative work going on with bows and arrows featuring highly. A lovely sunny morning!
Quite a few bugs of our own at the moment with a lot of Noodles off ill at the moment.
The sun SHONE and the wind BLEW so it was a bit cooler than we had hoped. We started off by looking at plastic bugs and then some of grabbed magnifying glasses to have a look what we could find. Some centipedes, spiders and shiny beetles later we took these back to show everyone and then collected some food for our bugs. Being careful not to pick nettles we looked at the plants around us and these were then used for some hapa zome printing.
The hammocks were up and bug houses were made, investigations & exploring undertaken and we finished with a quick parachute game and some pitta and houmous.
Celebrating (hopefully!) the start of some warmer weather we made potions today, natural paint and ivy headdresses. Having a fire for Beltane and cooking up some popcorn and nettle tea.
With the possibilities planned by the group at the end of last week’s session I brought with me tools, hammock, woodland animals, dinosaurs, buckets and spades and pullies.
What we did instead was a group activity using the Elder which I had had to cut down due to vandalism. It was a lovely chance to sit and whittle and see everyone make and design their woodland knomes. Potato peelers, pen knives and palm drills were used. Some knots were shown and a loom made.
Looking forward to next week already!
Today’s Home Ed group had a weather angle. We started off by looking at clouds in a jar with shaving foam, water and food colouring, there was the chance to use a different thermometers and record temperatures around the site and make weather vanes. It wasn’t sunny enough to do any sunshine experiments and so we had the chance to use some tools finishing up with fire, soup and popcorn.
The next Monday session is 14th May, details to follow.
A lovely afternoon today with Sim and David from Sustrans. So grateful for their support with the Forest School/ outdoor sessions and then today having David (an ecologist) walk and talk a group of us through the flora and fauna along the Brampton Valley Way.
I never knew that the thorns on a Blackthorn attract a certain type of fungus or that if you pressed your ear to an Oak tree it may well speak to you …
The first session back today and I had in my mind some digging possibilities, sowing some seeds and making dens in the den area. Naturally this never happened which made me reflect very much about my title … Forest School Leader. I don’t seem to do much leading, instead I feel very much as if it is my role to facilitate and support play.
Some did play in the mud today, make homes for the small woodland animals I brought with me and sow seeds BUT most followed their interests or created ideas and plans of their own. We found the Go Find It cards in my bag and this led to the creation of story sticks, attaching our finds to the sticks as they were found.
We made sure that there was time to reflect before everyone began to drift away and the activity suggestions for next week were made.
A small but mighty team got together today for some quite fun jobs – there was some hedging using mallets and dead wood, digging and raking for our wild flower seed garden, some reinstating of the bug hotels and some den building. The big aim of the session was to create an area where it was clear to see ready made dens … as an invitation that others might follow.
Iam, as ever, grateful for the help received.
Date for the diary – Friday 20th April, meeting at 12.30pm at the Outdoor Classroom site. Come and have a look at identifying the trees and plants on our doorstep.