We have had a great time at Forest School with our Parent and Toddler group over the last few weeks as the weather has got warmer. Oxhey Woods has burst into colour with all shades of green and the new spring leaves.
The children (and their adults) have been getting to know our trees a little bit better in our ‘Tree Hugger’ game., where one partner closed their eyes and was guided to a tree. Closing your eyes and using your other senses to 'guess your tree' is quite a fun activity that can also make the children (and us!) feel quite uncomfortable. You really need to put your trust in your partner that they will guide you over the ground, stopping you from tripping over and bumping into things. Getting to know a tree by feeling it, gets the children to explore their other senses and use different vocabulary to describe what they feel. The children had lots of fun guiding their blind-folded grown ups safely around the wood. They were even brave enough to have a turn at closing their eyes.
We are lucky enough to have a variety of trees in Oxhey Woods and we decided to use some clay to make imprints of the different shapes. Clay is great to use and feels quite different to play dough or plasticine that children may have used before. The children were able to use the sticks as rolling pins to flatten the clay and cut out the leaf shapes. Another opportunity to develop their fine motor skills , whilst getting familiar with the trees in the woodland.
As with all things at Forest School, it is about the process that the children go through rather than the finished product, but I’m sure you will agree that the leaf bowls that were made look fantastic.
Leaf identification is part of our sessions as the children get familiar with the trees and plants around them. The children helped me to identify and collect the stinging nettles for our crisps today. We were so impressed that so many children were prepared to have a go at tasting the nettle crisps, after watching them cook on the fire. Well done to all who had a taste and tried something new. This can make some children feel very nervous, so they should feel really proud of themselves. A great new experience.