We have been lucky enough in the Burrow to welcome new children over the last two weeks, whether this has been through moving down from the Warren or starting Free Rangers. It has been lovely to get to know these new children through Forest School and introduce them to a wider range of what we do in the Burrow.
We started off our activity by using our creative skills through mark making with natural materials. These have been beetroot, charcoal and mud. It was lovely to have different materials to use and a range of tools to explore. This allows children to exercise increased choice over their creativity.
Before we started our session I asked the children if they could find some sticks as we wanted to use them to make marks with. At the start of the week we allowed to children to venture for sticks themselves but we found there were too many exciting things in the way which the children wanted to explore. Placing a few sticks along our path on the way seemed to work smoother when finding them. As adults we do not wish to dictate their play but sometimes places prompts and props for them to find can allow us to facilitate and guide their play in directions that help their overall development.
The children then went to our end gate where we hung 4-5 sheets of white paper with various pots, rollers and brushes. I modelled to the children what we can do with our natural dyes and before long the children were straight into the activity. We had lots of lines, circles and squiggles which was great to see and the activity attracted both the new and old children.
Once the children had finished we stood back to look at our good work, discussing the parts we liked, the colours we had made and who was responsible for what areas. One child started clapping and said, “Well done Burrow children it looks lovely.”
This week the children have still been mark making but using a wider scale which has involved a big sheet placed on the floor with lots of brushes, rollers and sticks available.
The end result is a collaborative masterpiece and as practitioners we also know the children have been working on fine motor control and experimenting with an early form of written communication. All of this, although focussed on play and the children’s interests is still setting the foundation to ensure the transition from mark making to writing ( a concept they’ll be covering in school) is smooth.
We have a new Burrow song that we sing on Forest School which is something I took away from my Level 3 training, have you heard any of the children sing this?
Thanks for reading,