Creating and developing the school sites that we work on is really important to Forever Green.
Although Forest School can take place anywhere, developing a natural environment where wildlife and imaginations can thrive and develop is quite magical to be part of.
Now Spring is finally (hopefully) making an appearance and the mud has started to dry out a bit, this is the perfect time for the children that we work with to help build some exciting new structures and plant some colour. So this week, we began the process by tying together some wooden pallets to create a base for the different habitats within our bug hotel. You don't need much. After some searching around amongst the trees, the children gathered a selection of bark, pine cones, rotted wood and leaf litter. This was a great activity for the children to be part of as they then had to sort the different materials before carefully arranging them in the different sections. Recognising the differences between the various objects that they have gathered gives the children an opportunity to closely observe their environment and begin to build a relationship with the natural world. Something that at Forever Green we feel is so important for the children of today. It invites questioning and thought: "What is on this piece of wood?" "Look Emma, this bit of wood has little holes in. I wonder what made them?" And so exciting discussions follow and information to answer their questions can be found together.
The Woodland Trust has a great scheme where they provide free trees for schools and communities. Once again, this is a very simple way that can transform a corner of a school field and getting the children involved in planting the trees on their site builds their connection with the natural world. The children that we work with love to dig and this gave them a real sense of purpose and importance, that they will be creating a woodland for future members of the school community.
"Just think about what this field will look like when you have kids of your own..."
"Will they grow into big trees like those over there? Wow!"
Difficult to get your head around when you are 9 years old!
A living willow tunnel was the final creation of the day. Measuring, plotting and planning were the skills required for this one, before digging commenced. The willow rods were sorted and counted, ensuring that we had enough and they would be equally spaced out on each side of the structure. The ground was dug and the upright rods were carefully inserted into the ground, before the diagonals were inserted and then woven into place. We know that the children will enjoy watching this grow and take shape over the Spring and Summer months and of course it provides another great place for exploring and hiding.