Our first Forest School session after the holidays is when we re-establish confidence and independence by using our small steps. First the children run ahead to the nursery gate and wait for adults there, then to the ladder, (waiting, excited and chattering all lined up), then to the gazebo where they jump about waiting for our arrival. A simple little exercise that checks retention of boundaries, enables the children to feel independent but also keeps them safe. They are always shocked the first few times we do this. Can we really run away from adults? The repetition becomes second nature and it also adds to the feeling of exhilaration when the children can then just run into the freedom and space of the Forest School.
We stopped for a little talent show where the children shared their dancing skills and some very impressive two feet jumping. Time for a rest and a very tickly, giggly game of sleeping bunnies. Then off to the Forest School for some sticky feet games. We all stick our feet together in a circle, no hands if you can! They then take turns choosing animals, we chat about the animals characteristics then the children mimic the animal. Some fearsome beasts as you can see. As soon as they hear “Sticky Feet!” they have to run back to Miss Rowe and stick their feet again. Each game they can be given a bit longer each time before they stick their feet. Those that want to can stay nearby, whereas others will eventually move further afield as their confidence grows eventually prowling about in the woods. When you are a small person, big open, wild spaces can be quite daunting, games like this help the children to run free in the space, safe in the knowledge they have a base near by, the games focus can be changed adapted by topic and age.
At last the main event of the morning, meeting our chicks. They’ve finally returned from Miss Rowes kitchen where they have been growing fast. Currently they are living in a small run inside our main coop. This is so that our existing hens get used to having them around. Soon they will mix in with the main flock. The children asked lots of questions and can’t wait to hold them.