It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached week 9 of Forest School. We’ve been so privileged to watch summer slip in to autumn and this morning we had our first taste of winter with frosty patterns to look at and crisp, crunchy sounds underfoot. Seeing the changing seasons in the forest is a wonderful way for children to appreciate the wonders of nature. As forest school practitioners, the changing seasons gives us the opportunity to discuss why these must happen but, the best part for all of us is the visual impact that seasons make in the forest throughout the year. Discussion with your children is endless; colours, changes, temperature, sounds, smells and who wants a hot chocolate! So, we hope that when this block ends after next week’s cook-out we have shared our passion with our budding foresteers and that they will join us for our Big Fit Walk on Saturday 9th November to share their new found appreciation of our beautiful outdoors with you!
Today the toddlers thought that porridge would be a yummy snack. They helped to measure out the oats and milk and all gave it a good stir. We then watched it cook “it got very hot”. The toddlers then chopped up some banana to add into their bowls of porridge. This was a “delicious “ snack they all agreed .
Today the toddlers took advantage of some better weather and went for a walk. We decided to look for leaves which were different colours. We also spotted a thistle, some berries “that only birds can eat” we found pine cones and some of the children thought that the pine tree was tickly to touch. We brought the leaves and pine cones back to the nursery so that we can make a lovely Autumn picture.
Children and even adults learn best and retain the most information when they engage their senses (Educational playcare, 2016). Studies have shown that from birth to early childhood, children explore and make sense of the world through, touching, smelling, seeing, hearing and tasting.
Our children have been working on their descriptive language whilst they explore their senses and to add depth to their learning the children were involved in selecting a variety of materials to explore. Whilst exploring the children were involved in discussions about what they could feel, see, hear, smell and taste.
The children have also initiated an interest in farm animals, we incorporated some foods that we may find on a farm into these exploration experiences.
Here are some of the experiences that we have taken part in.
” it’s so squishy”
”it smells like onions”
”it smells like soup”
“I like porridge, it’s lumpy”
”honey is sticky”
“Its green and it is bendy in the wind”
”it’s like rain”
Today the boys and girls got to see the results of all their hard work throughout the year. We have tended our plants from little seeds, nurtured them as they have grown, fed and watered them through the summer and now the time has come to taste some of our vegetables!
First we have to pick the biggest vegetables we can find as we want to make soup.
This looks like a big leek
I have a really big onion
Here is another one!
The potatoes need peeled after being in the muddy ground.
Look at all the roots, this is how the plant gets fed from the ground.
The onions get chopped up and added to our soup pot.
So do the leeks…
Now we need to care for the environment and compost all our waste.
And now it’s time to get our soup cooking on the fire.
And at last, it’s time to taste our home grown soup.
Today in the garden we had the bikes and scooters out to help the children develop their gross motor skills. After playing for a while a child shouts out “Let’s race!” this led to the children having lots of fun taking part in a number of races. Requiring the children to use their turn taking skills and use a sand timer as a visual aid. We also learned about spatial awareness and tried our best not to bump into our friends as we raced. When we were getting ready to race everyone helped say “ready, steady, GO!”
This week we have been encouraging the children to develop their self help skills by helping to prepare their own snack.
We are learning how to use a child’s knife safely with adult guidance “like this, so we don’t cut our fingers”
We are developing an awareness of how to recycle our food waste.
We are tidying up after ourselves and are very proud to be making our own snack.