The first of December brought us a sharp sunrise and a light frost. It is national tree planting week, so we set off to plant some Silver Birch trees with the smallest of people. After giggling at the way some children put on their gloves, they found the blue marked canes and dug, planted and protected the small saplings.
A quick fire led to a much needed hot drink to warm ourselves in the morning chill. We spent most of the morning around the fire, using tools and wood to explore gross and fine motor skills and develop co-ordination. We lay down to look through the branches where the leaves have nearly all fallen and spotted clouds and imagined far flung journeys to South America or Africa, where the swallows flew to earlier in the year.
After school, with a glorious sunset background, and armed with gloves and bags, the group set out to collect rubbish, having commented on seeing it around in the hedges and ditches the previous week. Brilliantly, or sadly they collected two full bags on our short walk to the woods. An excellent effort from them all.
Once the rubbish collecting was done, it was onto collecting kindling, to make us a fire in the darkness. The children have really taken to rhythm and pattern making with their tapping sticks and they took turns in call and response tapping, as the fire lit up the emerging darkness.
The dark came earlier than expected, but didn't stop the swinging and balancing on the slackfline in the dark! There were hot drinks made by the children and time for a snack and a witter in the darkness. The group axed some more wood for the fire and cut up some green wood and filled some metal pots to make some more charcoal.
Two children had their birthdays, and without the opportunity for celebrations with friends, they had the chance to be sung to by their friends and blow out our candles to make birthday wishes with.
The walk up the hill was special, with the distant headlights creating a great light show, was accompanied by the children singing their upcoming nativity songs. A special moment. Winter is here, and what a delightful way to start it.