Fabulous Forest Fun Fridays!

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resized002Every Friday we leave the school hall behind and head out into the woods! Our Forest Fun area is just a short walk away and allows the children to have a morning exploring and playing in the natural world.

Building dens, looking at plants and wildlife are all part of Forest Fun and the children absolutely love it!

On alternate weeks we visit our “Mud Kitchen” which is located at Hope Primary School’s Conservation area. The Mud Kitchen was launched in October 2015 and is kitted out with pots, pans and cutlery. We use fresh top-soil, water from our water butt and whatever else we can collect to prepare lovely muddy meals!

The Mud Kitchen is housed under a wooden shelter, so we can play there no matter what the weather is doing and still keep dry. The children are always dressed in appropriate weather-friendly clothing for “Forest Fun”, so everyone stays warm and enjoys their morning!

 

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Our lovely new Mud Kitchen!

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Walking up the hill, singing The Grand Old Duke of York!

 

We currently run Forest Fun for children aged 3-4 years.

 

 

 

 

Decorating the Mud Kitchen with holly.

Decorating the Mud Kitchen with holly at Christmas.

Playing Pirates!

Playing Pirates!

The children learn so many things from their experiences at Forest Fun. On our walk down, we stop to observe and talk about what we can see: house numbers, 2D and 3D shapes in the environment, plants and mini beasts, road signs, building work, different buildings, birds, animals, spider’s webs, the weather in all it’s different forms, the changes in the seasons, the river, tracks in the mud and many more.

In the woods we have a variety of environment-friendly equipment to enhance the children’s experience: hand-built dens, climbing frame, rope swings, balance logs, a bridge, benches.

Activities range from: collecting, observing and drawing mini beasts; safe stick play, such as stick-whittling, making stick dogs and fishing rods; hunting for colours in nature; following number trails; role playing favourite stories; building bridges across the stream and making stick people and animals.

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FOREST FUN: Useful information

Forest Fun takes place on Friday mornings, whatever the weather!

We meet at Hope Primary School, in the School playground, and continue from there to the woods via Green Drive. On alternate weeks we go to the Mud Kitchen at Hope Primary Conservation Area.

The children need to arrive at 9.15 prompt, dressed and ready to leave as we leave at 9.20 to make the most of our time. Please ring or text us if you are running late. Please don’t bring bags as we have everything we need, including changes of clothes, in our trolley.

It is important that the children are dressed suitably for the morning. Waterproof coats and trousers or all-in-one suits are best with waterproof boots as a general rule. When the weather becomes cooler, they will need extra layers including warm socks-perhaps two pairs in the winter, hat and gloves. Woollen gloves are better than thick padded ones because the children need to hold hands with their peers on the walk.

Please make sure they have toileted before arriving. The school toilets can be accessible when you arrive if necessary; in the woods, if they need to go they go to the “wee tree”. Practicing toileting outside during the holidays would be a good idea! In my experience so far, many of the children actually manage all morning at Forest Fun without needing to go.

We have a snack outside during the morning which is usually a piece of fruit and a cheese and a jam sandwich, plus milk or water for the first half term. From October half-term it is hot chocolate season, which we prepare using the Kelly kettle!

We have rules to keep us safe on the walk down and in the woods. We talk about safe road crossing, where to walk on the pavement, not to let go of hands, what to do when a car approaches, etc. In the woods we have fixed boundaries and our three main rules: Don’t pick, Don’t squash, Don’t eat, which all the children are reminded of each week.

We will stay out all morning, so please don’t send your child if they are ill.

In extreme weather conditions-such as high winds or torrential rain-we can shelter at Hope Primary School.

Your child will be ready for you to collect at Hope Primary School at 12.15.

 

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17/03/17

Definitely the biggest worm we found!

Definitely the biggest worm we found!

Today we had a worm hunt! We hunted for worms to find out where they live and what they need to survive. We carefully dug in the soil with sticks and spoons. The worms were handled carefully and collected in a bucket for later counting.

When we counted our worms we had 32 altogether!

We observed the worms and talked about what they looked like, describing colour and shape; how they moved and which ones looked the biggest or smallest.