Has everyone has enjoyed the snow? I hope you've wrapped up warm in what was an exceedingly chilly Forest School week! Hot drinks (fruit tea with a little maple syrup) were a must to warm hands and hearts through and through. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in to Free Rangers on Friday, but I had a good walk in the snow over the weekend and enjoyed the winter wonderland. Continuing the theme of tools, last week the children made some wooden birds to add to their growing collection of hanging creations. Apologies if you're running out of space... The design of the birds followed closely that of the Reindeer before Christmas. The main dilemma, again as with both the wooden based festive activities, is how much work you leave for the children to do, and how much preparation is completed beforehand to enable all the children to make one per session. It’s a tricky one from an practical and educational stance, as the learning objective of the session is tool practice and safety and shouldn’t necessarily be about an “end product". Trying to aid 8 children in the assembly of one each during a single Forest School session can be stressful especially in cold weather. However, children can gain huge satisfaction from being able to take home a completed piece of work, whilst being able to utilise and experience a variety of tools to enable them to do so - so it's paramount to try and balance both these aspects.
The bow saw and hand drill made an appearance again, along with the pruning shears and when weather was really cold and not even a roaring fire could keep the children outside, we created them in the new ‘Hide’ using the electric drill for a contrast in tools. Inside, the children (and Red Fox) also got to grips with a hot melt glue gun, so the birds feathery plume could be added as a finishing touch. This was a really interesting tool to use with the children as the gun tip and glue were quite hot, but the children all listened very carefully to the instructions I gave them, and managed to glue on some super feathery displays!
I think you’ll agree that these little birdies look really great and am sure they have pride of place in their new homes. As I am not in today (Friday) those children who have haven’t yet made one will be able to do so next week.
Wrap up warm and see you all next week. (unless it snows again!)
p.s. - Please don’t forget to fill up the feeders for the birds in this snowy weather, as food is much harder to find!