Here at Cart Mill Family Centre we just love blogging about our daily adventures! The children who attended Forest School today experienced a “greener” forest than in previous weeks as the trees, flowers and plants are really beginning to get into full summertime growth. By spending time in the natural woodland in this way, the children experience first hand the effects of nature on the environment. Catriona told me “I like it when the birds sing in the forest”. Although we are only a few feet from a busy road and a housing estate, it can feel very remote and peaceful, and very often the children don’t want to return to the family centre too soon! If you are interested in finding out more about Forest School, or would like to attend a session please let us know. In the meantime, when you are out and about with your child, please take a little moment every so often to look at and taljk about the seasonal changes. You will be surprised by how much your child knows!
The children have been developing their gross motor skills and have been creating obstacle courses this week to develop their balancing skills.
“You need to hold your hands out to help you balance.” Matthew
We have a new fine motor station outdoors and lots of the children have been using tools to develop increasing control of their fine movements of fingers and hands.
“I can do it!” Julia
Today the children decided that they would like to build a “DEN”
They collected lots of bits and pieces from the outdoor play area and began to make the structure.
Kaile collected bricks and wooden planks. He used the wheelbarrow to transport the items to the den building sight.
Lewis and Dominick were very busy constructing the walls; they put the blocks and the wood into place. The boys and girls worked well together and were really happy with their achievement. Fabulous!!
Outdoors was so lovely today, the children enjoyed playing in the sun. It was cold but lovely and bright and we are starting to feel like Spring may be coming soon.
The children were learning to identify numbers and used their fingers to draw numbers in the sand.
There was also a measuring experience taking place as some of the children used the blocks to measure how tall they were. The children used mathematical language to talk about height and measurements.
Today we experienced all kinds of wintry weather, snow, hail, rain and wind in the forest. The wind was NOISY! Jacob enjoyed using a knife to whittle his stick. Gia found an interesting hole and ant hill, and Luci and Amelie enjoyed climbing again a tree again. Cameron found interesting feathers. The children enjoyed some warming hot chocolate and pancakes for snack. The picture shows them getting their own snack and cups out of their backpacks. Lots of independence at Forest School which helps to build self esteem and resilience.
It was snowing at Forest School today and very cold, we were glad to have our hot chocolate at snack time. We noticed some interesting changes to some of the woodland. We saw and felt the pussy willow on the branches. It was soft. We also saw some bluebells starting to grow. This made us think about springtime and new growth. The children spotted a jaggy nettle plant when we were doing our risk assessment, and pointed it out to everyone. After that he spent a lot of time exploring with his magnifying glass.
Today at Forest School, we explored a different area of the forest, the children found a tree they could all fit on at the same time, and also an excellent seating area for snack.
As always there was lots of problem solving as they worked out how to negotiate climbing a different tree and moving along it to see how far up they could get. Look at how Leon has worked out how to move along the branch using his knees, feet and hands.
Anthony spent time looking for interesting things and displayed them on the branch as you will see above.
Hot chocolate time is always welcome as the children enjoy the feeling of the hot drink on their cold hands.
Apologies to the parents who send gloves in every week for their children, and maybe find they are not wearing them. The reason for this is that the children discover gloves hinder them and don’t provide enough grip when they are climbing or swinging.
Tune in tomorrow for more Forest School Fun.
Please Note: Each week when we are getting ready for the Forest, a few children are asking if they can come. Please be assured that I have planned the sessions from now until next summer and all of the pre school children will have the opportunity to experience Forest School.
Forest School started this week and you will see from the pictures above that we all had a great time. The main focus this week for the children has been exploring and setting safe boundaries, climbing trees, playing on the bouncy branch and comparing sizes with sticks.
We have a mud slide too. Forest School takes place every Wednesday and Thursday morning. There is a rolling programme in place to ensure we can offer this experience to the majority of children.
A note on midges:
Please note that midges are still very much out in force. You may see evidence of this when your child returns from the forest. They appear as small red spots, which will normally disappear overnight. If you are concerned about this, you could try an insect repellant.