Some of you may have seen our Hungry Caterpillar on the far wall in The Warren. The Caterpillar is made out of colourful balloons. The Caterpillar has been our main focus for Forest School this week.
Firstly, we got suited and booted ready to go out into the paddock. Some children were able to find our own coats and even able to put our wellies on. In The Warren we promote independence and provide lots of encouragement and praise: practise makes perfect. We then walked out into the paddock, climbing carefully up the steps or ramp to the top of the cabin, where we found a seat and made ourselves comfortable. We listened to the well-know story called “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I am sure most of you are familiar with this story at home - it’s a personal favourite of mine! All the children listened closely to the story. We focused on looking at the different fruits that the caterpillar enjoyed munching on throughout the week. Some of the children were able to name some of the fruits in the story.
We then talked about our very own ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ who was inside and feeling rather hungry too. I asked the children if they could help me find the ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ some food and take it inside to him. Some of the children smiled with excitement and nodded as they stood up to follow me. We carefully walked down the steps of the cabin - some of us being confident enough to manage the steps alone, other’s holding a hand. We went on a little walk towards the orchard where there are some willow tunnels. Inside the willow tunnels were a range of obstacles aimed at different abilities.
Firstly, there were some building blocks. Some of the children were able to step over them while others navigated their way around. There was a crate with hidden fruits underneath. Some of the children lifted the crate in order to be able to access and retrieve the picture underneath. There was a plank of wood to walk and balance across and long pieces of willow in the walk way that the children had to carefully step over without tripping up. The children had to look high and low, and over and under objects in order to find the caterpillar fruits.
Providing the children with this low level of risks has a greater benefit of learning: providing new experiences and learning how to manage their own risks.
We looked at the pictures of the fruits we found and some of us were able to match the picture to the same picture in the story book. Others were able to name the fruits that they found.
We then carried our pictures of fruits back inside to our display of our ‘Hungry Caterpillar. We stuck them up onto the wall for him to have a munch.