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What a lot of different weather we have had in the woods this week! Rain, sunshine, frost and sleet. And how lovely to be able to experience it all first hand. Sitting up on the hill in the sunshine on Wednesday, spotting the parakeets, jays and listening to the wood peckers, it struck me again how lucky we all are to be relaxing outside in January.
On Monday it had rained so much overnight that the stream by the camp was overflowing and the channels of water flowed in different direction all across the paths. We took the mud kitchen equipment down to the stream and the children spent all morning collecting and playing with the water, filling containers and making soup. We also started a tree investigation which we continued all week – learning about all the parts of tree and doing observational drawings of them. In the afternoon we took some guttering down to the stream so the children could experiment with changing the flow of the water. They floated leaves down the stream and investigated what objects floated and which would sink. We created a 3D tree picture on the ground with sticks.
On Tuesday we did some more observational drawings of oak and hornbeam trees. We did some bark rubbing and looked at the differences of the textures. We played 1,2,3 Where Are You?, we jumped off the bridges and read lots of stories. In the afternoon we planted a forest, painted some trees, splashed in puddles and played lots of circle games like Okey Cokey and Dingle Dangle Scare Crow. We also had our drumming workshop with Gina.
On Wednesday we continued our tree investigations, played in the mud, played pirate ships at the Story Train and spent a long time getting out of breath running up and down the hill. We had singing in the afternoon with Awen. We made another 3D tree picture on the ground with sticks, then built a den with a pretend camp fire and roasted marshmallows (leaves actually).
On Thursday we went on a mouse hunt to find the stolen gloves. We then made a home for the mouse. We run really fast down the hill and then helped the Friends of Queens Wood clean up the wood. We went on a long walk in the afternoon to keep warm, played the tree ID game, running from hornbeam to oaks. We looked for holes in trees where wood peckers might live and finished off with some puddle splashing.
On Friday morning we had our new large wooden blocks out in the jungle walkway. Lots of open ended potential for creativity and great for building those muscles. Then one group walked up to the bird spotting hill and looked at roots of fallen trees and played the hornbeam and oak tree game while the other went to camp and climbed and dug for clay. We floated sticks down stream and made stick roads for toy cars. In the afternoon we walked up Dinosaur Hill and went on a bear hunt. We found a den and together we risk assessed it's safety for climbing. We sung a new tree song and some other old favourites, including I'm a Little Teapot because of Elodie's hat (see if you can spot it in the photos).
And lots of other games and exploration throughout the week.....
Photos on Flickr as usual, by the end of the day.
Now that the temperature has dropped please make sure the children have the right layers on. If they have wellies, they need liners and wool socks as their feet get too cold otherwise. If you're buying new ones soon, I like the Spotty Otter fleece lined wellies with draw string tops. My son had them last year and we are buying them again. Please check old boots for holes or splits, as wet feet in this weather isn't pleasant...
Upper body layers should be thermals first, then two layers of fleece or wool under the waterproof. Cotton layers don't keep in the heat.
Next week we are joining in with National Winnie the Pooh day, so if you child has a Winnie the Pooh toy they would like to bring in that would be great.
That's all for now except to say I hear rumours of snow coming soon, so fingers crossed we have enough to go sledging through the woods...
Enjoy your cold, sunny weekend.
See you in the woods...