The children were so excited to make pancakes today on fire. They helped to make the batter for the pancakes. To make pancake day little bit more interesting, the children came up with an idea to set up a pancake topping bar which they used to select their topping for their pancakes. They suggested chocolate syrup, strawberries,sprinkles, honey and golden syrup.
The Tuesday group learned about making a fire with safety at the forefront of the learning.
Then they toasted marshmallows on the fire.
This group got to wear our new waterproof suits today – don’t they look smart?
We love to stop and take in the sights and smells on our way to the forest. The children noticed that the crocuses had opened since last week and were just lovely.
The mud was very squelchy at the entrance to the park. We nearly lost our wellies in it.
We explored a new part of the forest this week. It was fun to try out new things.
We learned about making a fire square again this week so that we could set up our kelly kettle. The children gathered the sticks and built the fire square. We boiled the water to make our hot chocolate.
The Wednesday group are very interested in the insects that live in the woodland. They went looking for them and then decided to make a home for them.
They gathered sticks, leaves and other items from the forest floor to create a home at the bottom of a tree.
The Thursday morning group learned about how to make a safe fire in the forest. There is always a fire surround made from sticks that establishes the fire area and ensures that the fire is a safe distance from the children. Fire safety forms an important part of the Forest School Leader Training.
Once the fire was established the children used their whittled sticks to toast a marshmallow on the fire.
On the way into the forest the children heard a loud sawing noise and noticed people up in the trees cutting branches. We talked about the job of a tree surgeon and why they need to cut branches sometimes.
The Thursday afternoon group made a raft to sail on the river. You can see the launch in this video.
The children in this group also learned about fire and whittled sticks to toast their marshmallows.
The trees at this part of the walkway have been felled to allow a greater view of the river and viaduct. We love to stop and look at this view each week as it changes so much but is always inspiring.
Following yesterday’s wet weather cooking, the children were really keen to cook outdoors again today especially as the sun was shining. We looked at all the ingredients that we had and we decided that pancakes would be a great thing to cook. The girls and boys counted the eggs and weighed the flour and sugar, then mixed it in to a lovely batter. We are so lucky to have a new griddle pan that fits on the fire and it cooked our pancakes perfectly.
We had fun making lentil soup outdoors today. The children helped to peel and cut the carrots and were excited to cook the soup on the fire. It was quite rainy today so we made a temporary shelter on the side of the fire pit where the children enjoyed to sit and watch the soup cooking. Theyalso liked having a wee taste of the soup and most of children liked the taste.
We have been developing our gross motor skills as well as hand eye co ordination and balance through rope work.
We found a small hole in a tree – ‘I wonder what’s inside?’
We began coppicing with the full day group on Wednesday. Coppicing is a method of woodland management and allow trees and plants the chance to grow. The children made the fire paying attention to the safety rules and then we had our hot chocolate
When we were ready to head back to the centre the tree was missing ! So we identified another tree to use for coppicing on Thursday.
The children developed their patience, problem solving and risk assessing. They used real tools with adult support to cut a tree. They picked an Ash tree as there are many of those trees in the Forest school site.
The children are growing in confidence as we expected this week. We were particularly pleased to see children challenging their gross motor skills, problem solving and assessing risk.
We introduced open fires this week and we talked about the safety around fire. The children also whittled sticks using knives and then used their stick to toast their marshmallow or pastry on the fire.
The children are motivated and enthusiastic about the tree swings and ladders and each week we have tried to increase the level of challenge by changing something about the swing or ladder. This week we removed one stair from the ladder so it was a bit harder to balance and still climb the ladder.
We also made the foot swing with a monkey bar to swing from.
We still love the swing!
The children challenged themselves by putting the rope over two trees and making their way across.
The children are enjoying the freedom they have to move around and to be in the great outdoors. It is a lovely experience each week to look at the views, see how the trees are changing and to admire the local wildlife.
Winter had arrived in the garden today so we decided that hot chocolate and marshmallows by the fire was the order of the day. The children watched as Val lit the fire and Jaweria made the hot chocolate for everyone.