Over the next six weeks we will be investigating our senses and today it is the sense of sight.
We went on a nature walk around the school garden. The children used their observation skills to follow a set trail looking for man made objects. We regrouped to talk about what they had found. The children talked about things being camouflaged and how they blend into their surroundings making them hard to spot.
Following the same trail a second time the children were able to spot many more objects that blended into their surroundings. We followed arrows. Can you see the snail? Some things were easier to find than others. A colourful butterfly was easier to see than a bird in the tree.
After our nature walk the children split into groups. We all went snail racing and predicted which snail would win. Bug hunting is our favourite activity. We look very carefully for bugs and use a brush to gently get the bugs into our pots. Some of us make drawings of the bugs we find whilst others write about them. All the children wrote one fact about the bug they found.
After a tool safety talk the children cut a wooden disk to draw on.
We planted a bean seed in a pot to grow at home. A plant growth chart went home with the seed for the children to record their beans growth. There was a lot of jobs to do in the garden - after weeding we put the weeds in the compost bin. Watering the plants is very important. We kept an eye on the time using a sun dial.
To finish our first Forest School session we played "The Woodcutter Game" which teaches the children aobut the forest and why we need trees.
Today's sense is touch. After reading part of the Gruffalo Child the children all made a character from the story out of clay. The Gruffalo, snake, owl, fox, mouse and the Gruffalo Child started to appear. All the children took time to create their character and balls of clay started to come alive. They worked together or independently and all had their own ideas about what their character would look like. Items found in the garden were used to decorate the clay and they concentrated to get the details right.
Yesterday the Elves and Fairies that live in our garden had their homes destroyed by a rain storm. Today they have set us a challenge to create new homes for them. This is their wish list.
We played the "Woodcutter Game" again. The children acted out a woodcutter cutting down a tree and put a case forward to the woodcutter why he should not cut down the last tree.
In the afternoon we started making bookmarks out of natural objects. Everything we put on our bookmarks is chosen with care.
We tried our hand ar bark rubbing. We took rubbings from different trees and some were smooth, some were rough. The trees all have different textured bark that makes different patterns.
We all enjoy bug hunting and like to find out about our bugs with a friend. We are very careful when we are bug hunting.
The children helped to take the weeds from the wildflower garden to the compost. Barry and Neville always help us. Watering our new plants is very important for them to grow. After watering we sprinkled seeds on to the flower bed.
To play meet a tree the children take it in turns to be blindfolded. They then put their trust in their fellow classmates to lead them safely to meet a tree. Using their sense of touch they investigate their tree. It is a game for children and adults. Everyone is eager to have a turn. When they have felt their tree they are taken away from the tree and their blindfolds are removed. They then try to find their tree by touch. We can also listen to the trees heartbeat.
Our warm up game was pass the plant pot relay. We took it in turns to pass a plant pot from the front of the line to the back. We got to know the teams we would be with today. The children chose names for their team:
The Apple Trees Forest Fun Rain Forest Warm Trees
We made listening maps on the field. We sat quietly at different reference points and recorded what we heard. What sense do we use to listen? – Ears.
The children made musical instruments to represent characters from the Gruffalo and then we had a Gruffalo Orchestra!
We listened to a trees heartbeat using a stethoscope. We could hear the sap rising in the tree.
The children were given a picture of a bird and the call the bird makes. They then flew around the field calling other members of their flock. Working on their own or in groups the children built a bird’s nest. They had to be in a tree and be able to hold 6 eggs. How clever birds are they only use their beaks to build a nest.
We have had very special visitors to Forest Schools this week. As part of our learning about the past we all had a tried our hand at making butter. We had to shake little pots of milk and cream for a long time until it changed into butter. The butter had to be washed in milk and we used “wooden butter hands” to shape it. It’s starting to look like butter. We chopped up garlic to add to the butter and some of us used a butter press to make a pattern. It was hard work but we all enjoyed the chance to make butter like our ancestors. Best of all was eating the butter we had made.
We also learned how to spin wool. Dominic told us all about what people wore and the armour and weapons they used. Mrs Simpson dressed as a Viking Princess. First was an under dress made from heavy cotton, over the top was a robe made from wool, it was very warm. A woven belt and gold brooches were used to hold everything in place as there was no zips or buttons. The children made their own coins by hammering the top of a coin press. The hammer was very heavy. We all had an amazing time trying on clothes, looking at artefacts, making coins, spinning wool and making butter but best of all was learning how people used to live. A big thank you to Ann and Dominic for bringing in their Living History display to our Forest School.
Today we went on a senses walk. Because of the heavy rain, we decided to base ourselves at the school and walked to the bottom of Spoon Lane and back again. We stopped at the top of Sppon Lane and asked the children questions:
What noises can you hear?
What can you see? Smell?
What is the longest blade of grass you can find?
We continued our walk down Spoon Lane and looked for different kinds of wild flowers. We spotted lots of different flowers: red clover, purple vetch, comfrey, yellow vetch, meadow sweet, fox glove, white clover, white vetch, blackberry and buttercups. We compared the different fields. One field has been left fallow, one was a meadow.
We saw a cross on a tree. What does the cross mean? One tree had ivy growing on it.
The track was stony in places and we saw a hoof print from a horse that used the track. George found a dandelion clock.
After lunch the sun came out and we enjoyed looking at and dissecting owl pellets. We had to be very careful using tweezers to separate the pellets. It was very exciting to see what came out of the pellet. We took it in turns to see what we had found. There were lots of bones from what the owls had eaten. All the children were amazed by what they found.
The children had a go at tying a clover hitchknot. It's harder than you think, but we didn't give up.
We played environmental games on the field: Web of Life, Huntsman and Build a Tree. These games explain why we need to look after trees and what may live in them.
Thank you for joining us for another fun day at Forest School.
This is our first week at the farm and what a wonderful day! We walked around the boundaries to make sure we knew the areas to explore in safety.
We split into groups and one group went bug hunting whilst a second group learned how to build dens. We found an ants nest and saw a bee collecting pollen from clover. We found lots of wood to build a den and worked as a team remembering how to carry sticks in a safe way. To make a roof on our den we had to weave twigs.
Another group went with Mrs Billingsley to identify trees. The children collected leaves and then sat together using a book to try and identify which tree they were from. Some were from an ash tree.
We listened to a talk on how to use tools safely before we whittled a stick to toast a marshmallow.
We started our final week with Gruffalo games that used our senses. Our first game involved a relay race using our sense of sight to look for coloured blocks. Green was the hardest colour to find on the grass.
We talked about camouflage and how different colours blend into their backgrounds. With the weather being so hot we kept going into the shade and having lots of water to drink.
We listened to the next part of the story and then used our sense of hearing to listen to sounds around us. Cars, children shouting, bees buzzing, leaves rustling were some of the sounds we heard.
Next was our sense of smell and making smelly cocktails. We collected ingredients to go in our cocktails and talked about what we had put in them and the smell. Florry cast some of her forest magic. We add some magic water and HAY PRESTO we have lovely smelling cocktails. What does yours smell like? Bakewell Tart, custard, sweets and much more.
Our next task was to make bugs out of natural materials. We made butterflies, ants, caterpillars and spiders. We looked up facts about our bugs in information books. We found lots of different natural objects to make our bugs. A real butterfly came and joined us.
After lunch we talked about what foods are healthy for us and which aren't as good for us. All the children know about healthy eating and that it is important for us to have a healthy diet. We split up in to our groups and all had a go at cutting up fruit. Each group had melon, grapes and strawberries. All our children are taught how to use a knife safely. The children assembled their fruit kebabs. Eating healthy is fun!
Next the children revisited drawing trees with charcoal. Then they used cotton buds to put leaves on their trees.
Then we went on the field to investigate the sense of touch. What did the grass feel like? Soft, hard, rough and warm.
The children threaded the wooden disks we cut in week 3 to make puppets. We had to draw a face on our disks.
We would like to thank Barry and Neville for all their hard work over the past year. They have come in all weathers. We would also like to thank all the parents from FSB who gave up their time to help. We hope you enjoyed your experience with us at Forest Schools. We look forward to seeing you all in Year 1.