A Forest School day out in May
Another successful day out
We began our day in Osterley Park; the Practitioners were ready to greet the children as they arrived with a
croissant, a cup of milk and brioche, which of course went down a treat!
Some of the children enjoyed picking up bundles of leaves and throwing them in the air, whilst others took interest in helping practitioners to find things in the forest that had different shapes, sizes and textures.
Some swans and their ducklings came to say ‘Good Morning’ to us. We spoke about feeding them seeds rather than our brioches, as it is hard for them to digest.
Once all of our friends had arrived, we took a stroll down to the Study Base to drop off our bags. We passed the Lake on our way. One of the children picked up a stone from the ground. “I’m going to take this for an experiment!”
We explored the Ornamental Vegetable Garden behind the Study Base, a child said “Look at the strawberries Jade, they are turning red” another commented on the sky “I see no clouds, just blue. It’s a beautiful day.”
“Are these people growing vegetables?” another asked.
Then they spotted some garden chairs and ran towards them to try them out. A few asked for help up the giant fallen down tree stump. The children chased each other around the vegetable and flower gardens.
Before we knew it, it was time to eat our lunch. We set up a tarpaulin sheet underneath a large tree permitting us some shade. As we waited for our lunch we thought we would sing some songs together, the children had other ideas “Can you play the music?”
“What should I play?” I asked, “Follow The Leader!” a little voice shouted in response.
So on it went, a few children instantly jumped up and the rest joined in on their bottoms following the arm movements. When the song had finished another child shouted out the next request “I Like To Move It!” Everybody seemed to love this choice and even more jumped up, wiggling their hips and arms and singing along.
All of a sudden the babies called us over; a small bird had landed on one of their coats. Most of the pre-schoolers gathered around to catch a glimpse. “Is he hurt?” one of the children asked. “No, I think it is a baby bird. Maybe it is still learning to fly.” I said.
Our excitable little voices must have frightened the baby bird as he tried to flutter away; he didn’t get very
far and landed on one of the baby’s knees. We scooped up the baby bird to help him to safety and he grasped onto my finger. Oopsie daisy, the baby bird left a little poop on the baby’s knee, much to the children’s delight. “Look, he did a poo!” they all told their friends.
Finally, lunch was served; Spinach & Ricotta Pasta, and apples for dessert.
“This is the best lunch ever” one of the children told our chef. Once everyone had finished a little voice said “Can we have the music again?”
Clearly refuelled, some of the children danced, some rolled in the grass and others posed for pictures.
Once all of the children had rested and slept, we snacked on some grapes and milk & took them to the forest. We discovered walls of flowers taller than an adult and a child put together (we measured!) “Oh, I want to live here with my Mummy & Daddy” one of the children thought out loud.
We smelt some of the plants & flowers, and a few of the girls wanted flowers in their hair. We also discovered an injured Bumblebee on our path, the children gathered around.
“I am real sad now,” a child told me.
“Why are you sad?” I asked.
“Cos someone hurt him”.
“Maybe it was an accident, should we move him to the side so that nobody steps on him? Then he can get better.”
The children agreed.
Finally we came to the play trail; a giant tree stump marked the entrance, with the words
“OUR PLAY TRAIL STARTS HERE
DON’T LET THE ADULTS WANDER OFF”
We of course could not miss this picture moment.
The children ran off down the play trail looking for more arrows to follow.
The arrows led us, firstly, to an opening with large tree stumps positioned in a semi-circle. In the middle of them stood a wooden play frame for the children to climb.
We spent quite a while at this point, climbing in and around the frame, jumping off the tallest tree stumps in a group and trying to catch a mid-air snapshot, balancing and making each other giggle.
Next the arrows took us to another opening with enormous tree stumps ascending & descending like steps, and tree stumps with wooden balance beams attached- both high off the ground and low. There were even little mushroom seats sculpted from trees to sit on and a gigantic tree stump acted as our table. All of the children were very brave and even some of the 2 year olds rejected support by their third time around.
We decided to have our tea in this section. The children devoured their sandwiches, tomatoes and grapes and were ready for our next adventure.
Lastly, the arrows brought us to an opening that made our children’s eyes sparkle with excitement; swings! There were three swings with a wooden base; hung from such tall trees you could barely see where it attached.
The children waited patiently for their turns, some were strong enough to hold themselves on whilst it swung around, but some of the little ones needed adult support to hang on- they enjoyed it all the same.
Adjoining the swing space was a den making area. There was a Climb & Chime tree that had a bell to ring as you reach the top.
Most of the children had a go at climbing the trees.
The practitioners had a go at climbing the trees too and the children found long sticks and held it up the trees shouting, “I’ll save you” to the practitioners.
We also found a hole in the ground, two children shouted out:
“It’s the fox underground house!”
“The gruffalo is coming!”
The children pretended to run from the gruffalo.
Before we knew it, it was time to go.
Time flies when you’re having fun.
Written by Jade Williams