Forest School Blog | Birchanger Butterflies Pre-School

Forest School Blog

Another very cold day so we all had to wrap up warm for our trip to forest school. We had tools to use at forest school this week and some of the children got to use a small hack saw to cut wood and others used the loppers to cut small branches, great listening and following of instructions. The children had to wear a glove on the hand that supports the small piece of wood they are cutting, they are shown how to stand safely when using the tools, lots of concentrating and then sudden excitement when they realise they have sawn through the piece of wood they were cutting.

Ropes were very popular again, the children love using the ropes to pull leaves along to create a path, and they also used the ropes to pull themselves up the slope, then having lots of fun rolling back down the slope. Lots of very muddy, but very happy forest school butterflies.

We had lots of muddy fun at forest school this week. The children all enjoyed mixing the mud up with water to make mud pies, birthday cakes and some decided to paint the trees. We also had trucks driving through the mud leaving track marks.

Some of us decided to have a story on the dragon (fallen tree) we all climbed on for a ride, we went to the beach and had lots of fun playing in the sand, we swam in the sea and made sandcastles, great fun.  The journey back to the woods was very bumpy and we all had to hold on very tight, we all took it in turns to balance along the dragon and jump off safely at the end.

Rope work was also very popular again, some of the children wanted to pull themselves up the slope using the ropes, others decided that is was more fun to roll down the slope to the bottom.

Due to the cold wind we headed back early to have some hot chocolate and warm up.

Unfortunately we were unable to go down to the woods today due to the weather, so we decided to go for a walk in the school grounds looking at the trees and talking about the new buds forming on the branches.

By the time a tree’s leaves drop in the autumn, its leaves for the next spring are already formed. Tiny leaves, stems, and sometimes flowers are located in packages called buds. Buds are made of tough scales that form a waterproof case. In the spring sap rises from the roots to the branches; scales fall off the buds; and the tree’s leaves, stems, and flowers unfurl and grow. During the summer, the tree begins to develop new buds for the following year.

We have been talking about different birds and how they survive over winter, why we need to feed them and what foods birds like to eat. We also discussed where they migrate to and why do some birds migrate over the winter months. Some of the children enjoyed making some food for the birds to eat; we mixed together some pastry, soft raisins and some bread to push into fir cones and coconut shells. We also made some holes in apples and pushed raisins inside for the birds to find, we took them outside and from our window we saw a robin come along and try some of our yummy bird food.

It was very cold at forest school today, we had to wrap up warm with lots of layers, remembering to bring our hat, scarf and gloves to keep us warm.    We had a fire to add some warmth to the woods, the wind was causing a problem and kept putting the fire out but we finally managed to get it going.

We had our new pulley that we purchased with the money that Felix gave the nursery as a leaving gift. We purchased two pulley systems, one for lifting buckets with leaves, twigs and pebbles and a rope runner for our small world toys to be transported across the woodland area. A BIG thank you to Felix and his family for their kind donation.

Some of the children enjoyed playing with the ropes, they love to pull the leaves along using the rope and a small log, others made some cakes from collecting leaves and twigs, it was hard to dig in the dirt as the ground was so hard due to the cold weather. We also played with the new pulley and the small world toys enjoyed a ride on their rope runner. As it was so very cold we decided to go back to the nursery to warm up and have a hot chocolate.

Next week we are going to be reading The Stick Man story by Julia Donaldson and making our own stick men and women to go on an adventure in the woods, we will also be having a fire to toast crumpets on and have some more yummy hot chocolate to keep us warm.

Mrs Brandle was looking very Christmassy in her Christmas hat and all the children were very excited about having crumpets around the fire.   When the children arrived at the woods we sent them on a hunt for Christmas Crackers, lots of excited giggling was going on and all the children helped each other find a cracker.

Mrs Roberts had the fire going, it looked lovely and kept everyone warm, the children took in turns to toast their crumpets on the fire, remembering the fire circle rules and trying very hard not to burn their crumpets, the butter melted into the crumpets and we all sat around the fire to eat them.

We had The Stickman story around the fire, telling the tale of the Stickman’s journey to get back to his family at Christmas and how Father Christmas helped him, the children joined in re-telling the story, and they then went on a hunt for small sticks to make their own Stickman to take them on an adventure.

This was our last Forest School session in 2017. We will be back to Forest School on Wednesday 10 January 2018. Have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.