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Peter Pan in the Wood
Messy Pumpkin, Noisy Pumpkin!
Our Pumpkin Adventure!

Peter Pan in the Wood

Posted filed under Forest School

This week at forest school one child has shown a particular interest in Peter Pan. We have had a wonderful week, using sweet chestnut leaves to make ‘lost boy’ headbands, using the fire sheet to make sparks to ward off the crocodile and using binoculars to reach for Captain Hook! We will continue to follow this interest (now shared amongst many children!) throughout next week.



Messy Pumpkin, Noisy Pumpkin!

Posted filed under Forest School

Last week the children in The Hive were kind enough to bring the children in The Nest a pumpkin back from the shop! This week the children have been investigating the pumpkin (It's the first time most of us have seen one!) 

One of the children held the pumpkin and spent some time feeling it and rolling it on the floor, before we cut the top off the pumpkin and explored the insides. Some of the children were unsure at first using, one finger to touch the seeds inside. We commented on the feel of the pumpkin as we continued to explore. 

Once we had scraped out the pumpkin we put it on to some paper were the children investigated further. One child decided to have a little taste, but quickly decided it didn't taste very nice!

 Once the children finished exploring the pumpkin, we put the seeds into a bottle. We demonstrated shaking the bottle to see what noise we could hear. The children then spent several minutes, shaking, banging and moving the bottle around independently.



The Holly Bush Shop

Posted filed under Forest School

In the woods this week the children have discovered a natural den in an open area of a holly bush. The children decided they wanted to use this as a shop! Helping each other, they cleared fallen leaves away using rakes and spades.

They put the leaves into a wheelbarrow to take them away. In the holly bush den there is a fallen branch that the children stood behind. Some children were selling, and the others did the buying! The children used acorns as money and called it 'cornies'! Thursday morning's group decided to sell chocolate cake for 5 cornies! 



'PJ' Masks!

Posted filed under Forest School

On our walk to the woods the children found some huge leaves! They meaured the leaves against each others to see whose was the biggest. One child realised the leaf was bigger than their face! "It's like PJ masks" a child commented. We collected lots of gigantic leaves and used sticks and our fingers to make holes in the leaves for our eyes! 



Where do feathers come from?

Posted filed under Forest School

The children have been looking closely at the woodland floor to see what the windy weather has left for us. We have found many different types of leaves and seeds and have spent time identifying them. Some of the children made 'woodland catchers' to contain what they had found. One of out groups noticed a white feather on the 'dragons' back. We enquired where the leaf may have come from. The children told us the wind blew it from a... "fox", "hedgehog" and "squirel". We looked at our own skin to see if we have feathers. We also talked about the wind bllowing it from the sky. The children concluded that it must be from an animal in the sky! - More specifically, a bird! 



Introducing Forest School

Posted filed under Forest School

This week the children have an introduction to Forest School, they have met the other children in their group and sharing a story as well as games and snacks. We have all enjoyed getting to know one another. We took avatage of the windy weather by making kites with nappy bags and string. The children were taught how to tie a knot by 'helping the rabbit around the tree and down it's hole.' Next week we will walk to Ecclesall woods and use our sense of touch to explore the environment. 

For any further information about Forest School, please see our Forest School handbook, which you can find under the library tab. 



Woodland Trust Award

Posted filed under Forest School

As part of the Woodlands Trust's Green Trees School Awards, we have been taking part in lots of activities and challenges over the last 12 months. We are so pleased that we have earned the gold award, and you can see the wooden plaque in the foyer at nursery. The trees that we have given away have helped with points towards the award, so thank you for supporting us by nurturing the saplings. We are looking forward to seeing what the platinum challenges will be! 



Camouflaging in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

The rainy weather this week has made the woods a really exciting place to be, we have found lots of puddles to jump in, have taken showers under holly bushes and found shelter under beech umbrellas! the children have seen how our outside environment changes in the rain, noticing that the trees and shrubs are growing and that the leaves on them look fresh, clean and new. Of course we got very muddy - as expected!
 
On our walk the children noticed a small brown insect on a stick the same colour, this prompted a conversation about camouflage and what the children think that could mean. We explained to the children that camouflage helps many animals avoid detection by predators or prey because it allows them to blend in to their natural environments. Camouflage means that colours, designs, or patterns on an animal’s body or the shapes of its body parts are similar to the colours, designs, patterns, or shapes in the background. We were soon noticing black beetles in the dark soil and caterpillars dangling amongst the beech leaves.
 
The children quickly got the idea and began to camouflage themselves, hiding in colours that matched their clothes, they found it hilarious that we just couldn't see them when they were in the green grass with their high visibility vests on!!!
 
 
At home play a game of hide-and-seek. Once everyone has had a turn as seeker, talk about what made it easy or hard to find someone. Ask questions like “Did the colour of the clothes you were wearing make a difference?” and make comments like “I don’t think I would have noticed you except I saw your red shirt sticking out.” Have a go at creating a habitat for a small insect, encourage your child to think about how the insect can stay safe and what it needs. 


Fire in the Forest

Posted filed under Forest School

Our forest school children have come such a long way on their forest school journey over the last year. The children are able to set up a safe fire area confidently and discuss the rules about how to keep themselves safe, such as not walking into the fire circle, but instead, walking around the edge. As the children explore they find suitable pieces of bark and lots of sticks to 'feed' our fire. We enjoy the time we spend around the fire, sharing stories and chatting, whilst drinking our hot chocolate.



Dragon in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

 

 

The Dragon in the Woods

This short story was created by scribing what our wonderfully talented children said about the dragon in the woods! Story scribing (where you write down exactly what the child says when telling a story) is a really important way to show children that spoken words can be transferred to paper. It helps them to make sense of why writing is important.

“I don’t know why the dragon came here”                          

“What’s happened to his mouth?”                                

“He’s rock hard”                                                   

“He’s got loads of holes, look”                                     

“The moss is not on his back now”                                     

“Is it a triceratops? Maybe that’s the front of his hair”

 

“This is my sleeping ship”

“Maybe this dragons sleeping so much it turned to stone”

“When I touch his eye he doesn’t wake up”

“He’s not sleepy”

“He’s not a sleeping dragon anymore he’s a water dragon”

“Now he’s a fire dragon”

“It could breathe fire at the witch”

“He’s a breathing fire dragon”

“It’s an earth dragon isn’t it?”

“Do you know what an earth dragon is?”

“It’s a log dragon”

“It’s a digging dragon”

 

“He likes me”

“He might be my best friend”

“He likes me”

“He likes me”

 

“He’s a climbing dragon”

“I could climb but me too scared”

“The dragon’s coming after me!”

 “He waked up! Let’s run away, let's run away!"



We are Learning to Use Tools

Posted filed under Forest School

Over the first half term at Forest School we spent time introduucing the children to different aspects of the woods using their senses, they started a journey in self awareness and began to build trust within their groups of children and adults. Folllowing this the children were ready to move on, being gradually introduced to controlled risk and challenge. So.....

                                            we learned how to use a bow saw!

We spoke to the children about how to use the saw safely using the Forest School method. The children were really enthusiastic to 'have a go' and were brilliant at staying safe and turn taking. It was fantastic to see their astonishment as their wooden disc fell from the log to cries of "look what I did".

As welll as a new experience for the children they were able to practice hand/eye coordination and to work as part of a small team to achieve a shared outcome. The children were interested to learn that their furniture at home may have once started life as a log!!!!!

We were able to boost everyones self esteem with this activity, increasing independence and confidence. (Even our parent volunteers joined in for the 'feel good factor')



Pitter Patter Raindrops

Posted filed under Forest School

We have chosen to spend time at Millhouses Park this week, fishing and puddle jumping! The children have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get wet and soggy taking full advantage of the rainy weather. 

 
Puddle jumping is not only brilliant fun but also a necessary experience for cognitive skills development such as decision making, problem solving and the ability to focus as well as allowing children to collect, process and interpret information from the environment.
 
Get your waterproofs on and have a go, it's a great workout for adults, try adding gllittter or bubble bath to the puddles for added excitement! 


Forest School Grows Resourceful and Self-Confident Children

Posted filed under Forest School

We saw Forest School at its best today, children were able to look around and choose woodland resources independently to use for crafts and games. A super use of a stick and ivy vine to make a bow, also sticks, stones and leaves for a game of noughts and crosses! The children are glowing with confidence and self esteem, they are able to turn take and enjoy games together, tapping into their emotional intelligence to recognise their own needs and those of others! Amazing!



Forest School Nursery Fun

Posted filed under Forest School

The wilder weather seems to be behind us and summer has finally arrived! Children have been observing the changes that have been occurring in the woods over the past couple of months such as the bluebells blooming, the new bright green leaves and the variety of insects which the new vegetation has attracted

The sweet chestnut group have continued to enjoy exploring the woodland and this week they found a secret stream! One of the children spotted a tree that had fallen across the stream and suggested that we use it as a bridge to cross the stream. This provided an excellent opportunity for children to develop their gross motor skills as they carefully walked across the tree trunk. The children felt a huge sense of achievement they had crossed the stream encouraging a sense of self confidence and risk taking.

Ecclesall woods provides many opportunities for children to practise their balancing and risk taking skills for example climbing the stumps of the fallen trees and jumping into the little streams and brooks that run thoroughout the woodlands

Even though the weather is getting warmer the temperature under the woodland canopy can be much lower. Therefore, can you please ensure that your child brings a light waterproof coat with them to the woods and to prevent any scratches or midge bites can they wear a light long sleeve top and trousers on their woods day



The Dragon in the Woods

Posted filed under Forest School

 

The Dragon in the Woods

This short story was created using quotes from our wonderfully talented children during forest school 

“I don’t know why the dragon came here”                          

“What’s happened to his mouth?”                                

“He’s rock hard”                                                   

“He’s got loads of holes, look”                                     

“The moss is not on his back now”                                     

“Is it a triceratops? Maybe that’s the front of his hair”

 

“This is my sleeping ship”

“Maybe this dragons sleeping so much it turned to stone”

“When I touch his eye he doesn’t wake up”

“He’s not sleepy”

“He’s not a sleeping dragon anymore he’s a water dragon”

“Now he’s a fire dragon”

“It could breathe fire at the witch”

“He’s a breathing fire dragon”

“It’s an earth dragon isn’t it?”

“Do you know what an earth dragon is?”

“It’s a log dragon”

“It’s a digging dragon”

 

“He likes me”

“He might be my best friend”

“He likes me”

“He likes me”

 

“He’s a climbing dragon”

“I could climb but me too scared”

“The dragon’s coming after me!”

 “He waked up! Let’s run away, let's run away!"