The grounds of Free Rangers are currently undergoing an aesthetic overhaul (albeit slowly and incrementally). Where once the allotment beds stood, the Forest School team and children have now taken this over and shall be bringing new experiences and challenges for your children on their Forest School sessions. So this week the children were tasked with adding a little height to their Forest School grounds, by transplanting some young trees from our plantation into our Nursery paddock. The idea is to provide a varying environment for the children to play in, whilst the aim for the week being to reinforce their basic tool use and teamwork abilities. Monday morning however saw the children doing something different, due to us being slightly short staffed and unable to go offsite to the plantation. The children were given the job of building up our wood wall in the Apple Tree Den. This was a great team building exercise which needed everyone to work together, stacking chopped wood onto the trolley and pulling/pushing it to the den to be stacked up. There was great teamwork displayed especially when pulling the trolley and organising each other, with each child playing their own part very democratically! We also, very importantly, tended to the bird feeders, providing them with an important food source during our continued wintery days!
For the rest of the week, the children did really well in transporting the trees and in many ways, there was similar team-working and co-operation needed both in helping digging up the trees and transporting them back down the hill to the paddock. An equally important job during the week was digging the holes in the paddock for the trees to be planted in. This activity was disguised as a “worm hunt”, with the children trying to find a selection of sizes and colours, whilst they excavate a vast amount of soil in the process! With the holes dug the trees went in (along with the worms) into their new homes.
We managed to finish a corner of the paddock, planting a variety of species including Lime, Hazel and Rowan. In time, this will be a really special, enclosed little space that the children can come and stow themselves away and relax surrounded by nature. It would be a great little nook for story telling!
I thought the children did excellently this week, despite the cold wet weather returning. Well done kids! See you all next week for Easter frivolity!