Forest School Level 3 Course: Day 3

I have never felt as chilled to my bones as much as I have today with the wind in Wiltshire. The temperature reading was 4 degrees with 20 mph winds… a great discussion topic on whether a Forest School should run in such conditions, however, not so great whilst you’re in the middle of it.

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So Day 3’s focus was on Planning a Forest School programme. We were given a delightful book (which I already purchased a week ago, so that’s going back to Amazon) full of activities and games ideal for Forest School learning. Today was going to be a day where the trainers would share so of the games and activities they use to get our ‘creative juices’ flowing (as we’re running a session on Friday).

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To warm up we walked to another little bit of woodland nearby to collect (wet) leaves from trees and bushes.

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Back at the site, our first activity was ‘Hapa Zome‘ – the Japanese art of beating up leaves with hammers, pounding the natural pigment into cloth to leave a distinctive shape and colour behind. I didn’t think my first attempt was too bad. It was hard to do when your hands are freezing and you’re having to hold a cold rock – an activity for the summer I think! Fun though, I would like to do this again as I imagine you can get very creative and colourful with it.

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We discussed story stelling/creating stories with the young people and how props and books can help with their imagination and create a nice time for them whilst outdoors.

Plus, everyone loves hand puppets.

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I feel that a lot of laminating will happen… determined to make soil soup on the next camp!

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We were introduced to Mr Stick. I had to chuckle, how adorable. Apparently, Mr Stick is very popular!

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Lastly, to warm us up and to finish off the session, we looked at the importance of a campfire and how to support a very young person in being safe around the fire whilst toasting marshmallows on a stick. Sadly the wind was too strong to have a larger fire.

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Despite the weather being rotten I felt I learnt a lot. There are a lot of resources and information available to help create a fun, enjoyableForest School for young people – “you’re only limited by your lack of imagination”.

Tomorrow, on day 4, we’ll be looking more at practical skills to help start a campfire and cook on it – a vegan bean chilli! Yum. Hopefully, the weather will warm up overnight – the trainers said it has been the coldest they’ve had on record!

Just Joanne

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