We had a fabulous afternoon today. The children we desperate to check out what was in the pond and weren't disappointed. They found so many small newts in various stages of development, along with pond snails, water boatmen, backswimmers, dragonfly larve (I over heard Issy shriek with delight when she worked out what those were!), and some interesting spidery pond bug that was trying to eat the smaller newt tadpoles (we had to put them all back fast!)
As the session went on everyone had their own ideas about what they wanted to do, which meant we had to learnt to take turns and listen to what others wanted. Many had a go at climbing the trees to greater and lesser successes - but all demonstrated great determination to try and not give up, and wonderful upper body strength along with it!
The mud kitchen was a great hit - Logan made a mud pie.. I daren't not taste it and later on I found Sasha making a wedding cake for Florence, which she was delighted with. A few children were very concerned about getting splashed with mud... I will be interested to see how long this lasts :-)
A few of the boys were keen to build a zip line and tried very hard to tie their ropes over various branches. They settled on a trapeze swing after Zoe and Molly had a good go at trying to throw the rope over the branch. The swing was a hit and the children amazed me by devising their own system of who's go it would be next, and who would push (very mature for session 1!). Ed and Matthew made their own great swing which everyone loved too - it became the much desired play space so we had to do a lot of discussing about listening to our friends and respecting their wishes...
Tilly wanted to make a rope swing between 2 trees so she could do acrobatics. She knew what she wanted and tied very hard to tie the knots. Once the ropes were secure she did some wonderful acrobatics and inspired Rose, William, Eloise and lots of the others to have a turn too.
Nathan enjoyed bashing different logs and tees to see the sounds they made and then studied them to work out why they were different - he said it was because some were dead, some were thick, some were taller and some had leaves...
Issy led a team to collect buckets and buckets of acorns... I had never seen so many! We left them all in the bird feeders to see who might eat them before next week... if there are any left Eloise suggested making some bracelets.
Sullivan enjoyed some heavy lifting and made his own balance beam. He came a cropper when the plank broke but after some problem solving he came up with what he said was a 'much better system'
Everyone was great at tidying up at the end and we all left feeling very happy. Thank you Y2 for making the most Forest School session of the term so much fun!