• dianamills

Y2 Forest School: Tree Power

It was lovely to be back outside with the children, and their enthusiasm for life was no different from normal. After a pretty disastrous game of "Winking Witch" (a child's version of the old classic, wink murder) the children left the circe and almost flew up the trees... like it was a drug they had been craving!

The winking witch game was supposed to be a calming mindful exercise where they heighten their senses, demonstrate patience and honesty and experience trust and excitement, but telling tales on the winker was just too 'built in' so it sort of imploded. We will try again down the line... but I could tell that the children were desperate to play.

Logan made a be-line for the trees - he has been showing such determination and patience with his tree climbing skills, desperately wanting to join the others up in the tree and working out ways how to get himself in. This week he managed it, cheered on by Matthew and Nathan and it was a joy to watch. He was so delighted and called for someone to get Ms Wall so he could show her his achievement. Pride personified!

Its moments like this that make this time outdoors so powerful for the children, the confidence, self belief and unfailing determination, witnessed by all of us, are really character building (not to mention the physical strength needed too!). We all feel the pride when someone shares something like this around the fire circle, and this was no exception.

Flo and a few others asked for the 'face paints' again... I really dont like saying no, but im still unsure if painting faces with cheap watercolour paints is a good thing so I asked if painting wooden things would be ok? They found some wooden rounds and other bits, set up the paints and set to work. Quite quickly, they asked if they could make more things to paint and found some remnants of elder cut offs in my bucket. Rory wanted to make more so we went on a little hunt for Elder - it has a pithy core so very easy to bash out and create a hollow centre. The children really enjoyed finding the right tree/shrub and asking it politely if we could cut some of its branches.

Rory was in his element with the saw, and using a tent peg to bash out the core. Tilly and William came along and asked to help so Rory kindly demonstrated his technique and let them help. We ran out of time to compete the project but I have saved all the bits for next week.

Whilst all this was going on there was a load of activity on the rest fo the site. William was raking the leaves into huge piles - I wasn't sure it it was a 'tidy up thing' or just the theraputic nature of raking....either way, he was happy for ages! Tilly, Ava and Sasha put up a swing and had great fun launching themselves off the big log - huge upper body strength needed for this - see some videos at the bottom.. they really wanted me to record it!.

Molly and Rose spent the session building a den and Zoe really loved working with Ms Wall on the shave horse. They are all so proud of their 'makes' and each week ask to bring them home - unless it is critical it comes home, we keep them in a Y2 box in the shed so that they have them each week, and at the end of term anything special to them can come home (otherwise i'm not sure we would have any sticks left in the nature reserve!).

With remembrance day just around the corner, at snack time today we went around and everyone said something they were thankful for. The answers were so heart melting - from "i'm thankful for my baby sister" to "i'm thankful for my teachers"... "my family"... "doing forest school", "nature", my friends and school"... and they all listened beautifully to each other talking.

We take it turns to wash up and hand out biscuits/drinks each week, the children really love this part of forest school... I can't see why really... lording power over your friends whilst carrying a huge bowl of biscuits?? :-) This week Issy and Flo did an excellent job of washing and drying up - thank you girls!