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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

F f f f f Forest Dwellers (3)

Don't be fooled by the sunshine.  It was very bright and made the forest pretty but it did little to warm it up.
It was f f f freezing!  Quite literally.
Team work created this fabulous campfire and there were two kettles this week that were kept in the fire for hot drinks and washing water.  The fire and the hot drinks are really a make or break factor for me in the forest.  As long as I can warm by the fire and have a hot drink I am happy.  Obviously I do not run around as much as the kids, they were stripped down to T shirts, while I had gloves, cowl, woolly hat, two pairs of trousers and a funny walk!

This is the 'Tree House' how we left it last week, under the cover is our wood store.

This Sawing 'Horse' was in use almost all day.  The kids love sawing wood for the fire and the wood store.  I had a little go, there was no getting out of it, I was roped in as an assistant!  They have banned me from the ladder, rather flatteringly saying 'you can't come up Miss, you will break the ladder!'  I am not going to argue, I don't want to climb into the tree house anyway!  Once I am up I would have to get back down somehow!
This is one of the two rope swings, they are still popular.  The tape behind is the perimeter boundary line, the kids can go beyond as long as they ask first.  There is a massive area to play in so they are not really interested in going out of bounds.  We all gravitate around the fire mainly.
Lunch was another jolly civilised 'Al Fresco' affair.  We made sandwiches, ham, tuna, cheese, cucumber, lettuce and tomato...sadly the lettuce was frozen solid!  But iced grapes were refreshing.  I managed to stay on my feet this week but last weeks tumble was talked about and laughed about.  This week one of the kids fell twice, we ignored the swear word we heard as we are all only human after all.  They each made a bow and arrow and it was hard to tell who was having the most fun with them the adults or the children.  The bows and arrows were left in the forest for next week and using them is definitely a skill to be practiced.
By the time we left today the 'Tree House' had walls and a roof.  A 'carpet' was experimented with but it disguised the edge of the floor and when one of the boys nearly fell out of the house, they all decided carpet was not such a good idea.  I can not imagine what next week will bring, Wednesdays sure are the highlight of the week.  It is lovely to be out of the classroom and to see the children relaxed and happy, taking responsibility for themselves and others.  I had a chat with one boy today and he told me when he is a man he is going to drive to the forest with his dog and spend the day there, because his dog will love it.  Do you know what - I hope they will both love it!


  1. Today has been exceptionally cold, so glad you had a fire and two kettles.

  2. this is a fantastic idea and hope that when my little ones are older it is something they can do. Looking forward to next wednesday already : ) x

  3. Your Forest days look so fun!!
    I love the boy and his dog story, and I bet he does!!!
    I am always drawn to forests, as my Dad always took us camping as kids.
    Also, glad you will find a use for your doilies- i'm mad for collecting them whenever I can as well!!

  4. What a great adventure for them (and you).
    Althought it is ffffffar too cccccold to be in a fffffforest I think the fun they/you had was definitely worth it.
    Carol xx

  5. Those kids are very lucky to have you! How many adults help you? How many kids are there? What a great opportunity for them.. and you! Love your woodsy stories. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  6. Loving this story. Have you warmed up yet?

  7. Thank you for your comments. I have warmed up now, but seemed to have developed some sort of 'throaty' thing! Too much wood smoke I expect! We take a maximum of five boys at the moment, but would take up to ten (and girls) if we have them on role at the time. Currently two teachers go, with two assistants and two trained forestry workers. The five boys do feel like twenty at times, they have enough energy for twenty boys and make enough noise for twenty boys. I am really pleased how engaged they are in the forest and on a whole they are brilliantly behaved, team work and consideration for each other seems to be coming quite naturally. Perhaps all schools should move in to the forest :) Particularly for those children with emotional and behavioural issues that make mainstream education so difficult for them to access and achieve any success. It is a joy to see them letting go and having constructive fun.

  8. LOVE it, I know my boys would be so excited if my hubs would do a tree house. I love it all!!


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