As Forest School is part of our ethos, we like to bring and do as much as possible in this sector to provide a range of opportunities for children to learn and explore outdoors. So for part of this week's activity, we got booted and wet suited up to go outdoors into the paddock. We took a small group out to explore the surroundings and to see what they could find. We turned over a few stumps to see if we could see any insects, and also stopped off to see Ed and Vince making progress on the fort. We made our way down to the pond where we sat on the decking just beside to see what was in there, whilst Louise scooped the water using a net to see what she could find, we then put the net full of pond goodness in a bowl for all the children to see. This activity boosted some of the children's communication and physical development as staff pointed out and pronounced the names of different animals in which some children tried to repeat. It also tested their physical ability as the ground was a different terrain, also the assault course challenged their thinking as to how they could navigate these different obstacles. Before heading back inside we spotted some different herbs (lavender, thyme, lemon mint, rosemary and mint), which we used our senses to smell and touch. We picked a generous handful of each herb and took them inside to use.

Our next activity was making several lots of play dough with our herbs we picked mixed into it, giving it a lovely smell. Firstly, we let the children touch the ingredients of the play dough and herbs so they could use their senses to touch, smell and taste the differences. We then broke up all the herbs which we sprinkled into the play dough mixture and gave it a stir to make it into the right consistency, which was done five or six times to have a range of smelly play doughs for the children to investigate. After the play dough had been made the children also used cutters do make different shapes and sizes focussing the children's use of their hand and eye coordination.

After this activity we also put the range of herbs in a easy access tray so the children could explore and investigate bring the outdoors in. A few children loved the smell of the lavender and would smell it quite a few times. We also decided to set out a creative activity to link in with this forest school, so we decided to do some herb sticking. The children decided which herb they would like to stick on the paper, but before sticking it down. All the children went home smelling delicious!

See you all next time,