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Forest School Activities during Term Five

posted 26 Jun 2013, 16:11 by Zoe Hendy
The Friday morning children visited the nature garden during term 5.  They learnt the early morning routines of putting on their waterproof dungarees, wellies and coats and lining up outside.  Some of the children are becoming increasingly independent with this and are able to take off their dungarees and find their shoes on our return.  We use the walking rope to walk from hedgehogs into the school and down through the school grounds to the nature garden gate.  We sing on the way or talk about what we will do there, until we pass the classrooms where we ‘creep like mice’.  We pass the reception children playing outside and meet friends and siblings along the way.  We have been very proud of how they all stay in line holding a ring on the rope and respond with ‘Yes’ to their name during regular register calls during the trip. 

The children spent time investigating the top garden where they hunted for pieces of a bug puzzle.  Each puzzle was a different type of bug such as woodlouse or snail.  They needed to look for the puzzle pieces in areas where their bugs would normally live e.g. looking under or near stones.  This was a great opportunity to work together in our key groups, as a team and to talk about habitats and the differences between bugs.  After finding the pieces the children used magnifying glasses, spades and mirrors to look for real bugs.  We talk about taking care with the environment and being gentle with anything they find.

The children had the opportunity to use tape measures to see how long the branches were and to compare the different sizes of tree trunks.  Others made a large collage on an old sheet using natural materials they had collected themselves.  They chose to make the Gruffalo, using purple flowers for the prickles on his back and large twigs for his toes.  The children also had the opportunity to make natural bird feeders using pine cones that were covered in softened lard and then rolled in bird seed.  This proved a very popular if somewhat slippery activity!

We have used colour charts in groups to look for items that match a particular shade and have then made a collage on sticky pads that we have been able to display back at hedgehogs.  This allowed us to talk about colour and just how many different shades of a colour we can find, introducing new colour names and talking about light and dark.  We also collected items that we brought back to preschool and placed them between pieces of greaseproof paper.  Sealing these with masking tape we then held them up to the light by the window and used them on our light box.  This was a great opportunity to look up close at these items, considering the finer detail of plants and leaves and talking about texture, shape and size. 

We have continued to read our stories and have snacks in the nature garden.  This is a good time to gather together and the children are as able to help prepare fruit and share out drinks on our ground sheet as they are in the preschool.