We started our early summer parent Stay and Play sessions today. We meet every Tuesday morning from 9.15-11 am. We make a fire to boil a kettle and share a hot drink and spend some time creating following the seasons and the children's interests and generally have a potter about the woods, making connections with the woodland and each other. Everyone with a small person from birth to school age is welcome. Booking and details are on our website. Today, after just one week away from the woods we discovered that the birds have been busy constructing a tiny birds nest complete with eggs inside our wood shed. We hope that our presence doesn't disturb them and will leave them be for the next few weeks.
Away from the nest we lit a fire for our tea and painted some bluebells and messed around with blue paint, blue paper and scissors. The children enjoyed the swings and bouncing on the slack line and climbing on logs and hazel trees and pottering around the woodland.
This afternoon the woodland floor in the woodland was carpeted in bluebells and thescent of them all growing together was amazing. The children decorated a wooden disc with their name and a woodland drawing on the other side.
We learned that the Elder tree has a very soft centre to it and that because of that it is great to use when learning to use tools in the woods. The children used loppers to cut the elder into lengths, then used palm drills to take out the soft centre and place some of the charcoal they had made into it. The soft elder was also easy to peel, so the children removed some of it to create patterns. Some even found feathers to stick in the end as an extra flourish!
Some children went back to the wall of sticks they had made as a den. They learned to use the bow saw and loppers to cut wooden stakes to the correct length, which they then used as a frame for a fence of sticks. At the end of the session they all shared what they had enjoyed about their afternoon by taking it in turns to talk by holding ‘Stick Man’.
“I liked digging in the stream and filling in holes with the mud we dug”
“I liked climbing up the stream, it was tricky to get around some of the sides because of the brambles”
“I liked making my pen, I wanted to make one with a heart on it next”
“I liked using the saw to cut wood and build our fence for our den”
“I liked using tools to make a pen”
“I liked seeing the carpet of bluebells and the smells of it and the wild garlic”
“I liked finding bluebells, white bluebells and pink flowers”