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.
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).
To warm up we walked to another little bit of woodland nearby to collect (wet) leaves from trees and bushes.
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.
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.
I feel that a lot of laminating will happen… determined to make soil soup on the next camp!
We were introduced to Mr Stick. I had to chuckle, how adorable. Apparently, Mr Stick is very popular!
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.
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!