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Forest School

Friday 4th March

This week we read ‘ Animalphabet’ and all tried to guess which animal would come next. The children wrote the initial of their first name on card, cut it out and decorated it with natural findings, as well as coloured pens. We had lots of free play, drank hot chocolate & then toasted pancakes over the fire and everyone used squeezy golden syrup to write their initial on their pancake before they ate it! After we had sung our goodbye song we walked back to school for home time. Another lovely session to start a new term.

Friday 11th February 

Thankfully the weather improved for us this week after a very wet and cold session last Friday, giving us plenty of time around the fire circle to read 'Happy' a book about mindfulness. The book gave us lots of topics for discussion with the children sharing things that made them happy, smells that brought back memories, having a good look around to see if they could spot anything they hadn't noticed before and sitting quietly, with blindfolds on or eyes closed and listening to the sounds around us.


Thinking about using our senses to be present we played a listening game called Sleeping Bear where we stood in a circle with one child lay on a yoga mat, with eyes closed, in the middle of the circle and my jangly car keys in front of them.  Children took it in turns to have a go at creeping into the circle and taking the car keys without the 'sleeping bear' hearing them.


We also had some free play with lots of children choosing to play by the river with fishing nets, pots and pans.


We warmed up our hands with some hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows over the fire.


Before the walk back to school we all joined in to sing our goodbye song and our 'mighty forest school' song!


A lovely session to end the term.  We'll be starting next term with an obstacle course with a twist!

Friday 29th January 

For our second session of the year, we read 'The Go-Away Bird' in which the bird told everyone to go away, until they all helped him escape a predator & then he decided 'you can stay'.  We discussed kindness and everyone gave an example.  Then we played Stuck in the Mud; when someone had been tagged, they had to freeze until someone else freed them, remembering to be kind and help our friends when they needed us.  


Half way through the session we toasted marshmallows over the fire and sandwiched them between two biscuits to make s'mores.  


We also thought it would be kind to the birds that visit our site to make them some fat balls to feed on.  We melted lard over the fire, stirred in some seeds and then the intention was to mould the fat balls around a pine cone, however unfortunately the mixture didn't set in time to finish the activity this session, so that will be our first task next Friday! 

Friday 21st January 


For our first session of 2022 we discussed the idea of 'New Year, New You' and how actually, there are lots of things about us which we don't want to change & maybe we should think about those.  So, on the theme of 'New Year, Same You' we went around the fire circle and everyone said one thing that they already did or were good at, that they wanted to keep doing in 2022.


We then had a good explore of the site to see what had changed during our Christmas break & did some litter picking and general tidying up.  One exciting finding was lots of ice in our mud kitchen pots, pans and buckets which kept the children entertained for the majority of the session!


Once the site was tidy the children found natural objects which they used to make the first letter of their name.  Most children used sticks although some used leaves and even some chunks of the ice which they had found.


We sat around the fire circle for marshmallows and hot chocolate to warm us up before playing a few more games.


We played 1,2,3 where are you, a version of hide and seek as well as a running game where the children had to think of an animal and then when their animal was called, they had to run to the other end of the site without being caught by me.  Once they had been caught, they joined me in catching the other children.  The final child to run managed to make it past all of us and we were very impressed with her super-fast running!


Nice and warm after the hot chocolate and lots of running around we headed back to school for the end of the day, singing our goodbye song as we went.

Friday 26th November 

Continuing with our hibernation theme we have read 'Ferdinand Fox and the Hedgehog'. At the end of the story the book gave us some hedgehog facts including what they like to eat.  We used this to help us make some hedgehog food.  We used wooden discs, pipe cleaners and leaves to make caterpillars and then we found some sticks to decorate with pipe cleaners and pom poms to make worms. After this we used resources, both natural and out of the craft box, to make some hedgehog related crafts with the children getting very creative!  One of the children collected a bag full of pine cones that we used in our crafting.


As well as making our crafts we had lots of free play, that included spending some time at the river with fishing nets.


As usual we had our drink break and toasted marshmallows over the fire before singing our goodbye song and heading off back to school.


Next week will be the last of our hibernation themed sessions with our final session of the year on 17th December being all about Christmas!

Friday 12th November 

This week we read ‘The Forest Folk’ which gave us some inspiration for making our own headdresses based on various animals. We added sticks for horns and leaves for ears or hair, one even had a unicorn horn! We enjoyed lots of free play, had a splash in the river & used some drawings of a squirrel with its tail cut out to feel some different textures in our game ‘this isn’t my squirrel, it’s tail is too…’ We finished by toasting marshmallows over the fire & sang our goodbye song before walking back to school for home time.

Friday 5th November 

The first session back after half term fell on 5th November giving us chance to do plenty of bonfire night crafts.  The children had the option of making a natural sparkler, a firework painting using toilet roll tube 'stamps' or a rocket made out of toilet roll tubes.  We also had lots of free play, a chance to go down to the river and after toasting marshmallows over the fire we added some magic powder to turn the flames blue and green.  Before walking back to school, we finished the session with our goodbye songs which the children then continued to sing on the walk back!


We're looking forward to our next session which will be based on the book 'The Forest Folk'.

Friday 15th October 

For our final week before our half term break our theme was feelings.  We read a story called Everybody Feels and then played a game of guessing how each person felt based on the facial expression they pulled.  


For our craft this week we had a go at Japanese hapa zome, finding different coloured leaves and flowers, folding them into a square of cotton and then bashing them with a hammer to transfer the colour to the cotton.  A great way to get rid of any feelings of frustration or anger!


For our fire snack we made s'mores, toasting a marshmallow and then sandwiching it between two chocolate biscuits.  They were so good we all wanted s'more!