In the woods today we were building on the interest the children have shown in finding and collecting acorns. Yesterday we learned how to identify an oak tree by looking at the shape of its leaves. Today we walked through the woods and tried to spot more oak trees. We were excited to find a tiny little baby oak (we put sticks around it to protect it because we were worried someone might stand on it) and also an enormous oak tree that took 4 children to stretch their arms around it. We learned that oak trees are known as the King of the Forest and that they grow very slowly but are very strong. Jane, Jordan and Lynda also learned that oak trees produce male and female flowers – the male flowers develop in a group called a catkin. Catkins hang down from twigs and release their pollen into the air where they are blown around to pollinate a nearby female flower.After pollination, the base of the female flower forms a woody cup, and the flower forms a woody fruit called a nut – an acorn!
We put wood cookie labels on some of the oak trees we found. If you are walking in the woods maybe you will spot one!
It was lovely to be back in the woods today! We have a new play site and enjoyed exploring it and seeing what different things we could find there. We had several new children with us today and it is amazing to see how much more confident and independent they became after just a few hours in the woods. We are looking forward to seeing how our sessions develop as we become more familiar with the new site.
We each chose a special tree in our site and gave it a name. The names we chose were Nursery, Bramble, Firework, Violet, Tractor, Baby Teddy, Florence and Lanky Larry. We will be keeping an eye on our trees as we move further into autumn and then winter so see how they change.
We had an amazing visit to the woods this morning. The temperature was -7 when we arrived to set up and still only -1 when we packed up to go home so it was a very challenging environment for our children. Rather than spend all our time in the camp we decided to go on an adventure. It was quite dark at our camp but we could see the sunshine hitting the tops of the trees. We decided to walk higher up the woods to see if we could find the sunshine. It was quite a trek but we found lots of really interesting things along the way. There are so many dens in our woods, we had a wee sit down in just about all of them. The cold weather had made amazing patterns in the woods, we spotted tiny icicles that looked fluffy and others that looked spiky. We found the sunshine at the very top of the hill. There was a fantastic view so we got the binoculars out to see what we could see. We walked back down the hill and saw so many different footprints – we spotted lots of different boots as well as some bike tracks and then even some doggy prints too. Back at our camp site we cuddled up in our tent with some cosy stones, blankets, hot chocolate and a (few) biscuits. We have a request for jam pieces next week, not red jam though.
We all enjoyed our Dark Woods session last week. It was lovely to have so many of our children and also their families join us. It is amazing to see and feel the differences in the woods when it is dark and also to see the energy, enthusiasm and confidence in our children as they set off to show their parents and siblings where we hold our woodland sessions. On site we had our new tent up and fairy lights decorating some of the trees. There was a dark rope trail, Santa was on his usual pulley ready to be hoisted up and down while the rope swing was also in play. The biggest attraction however was the campfire and children enjoyed helping chop wood to keep the fire burning. As they had requested they made toast, sausages and marshmallows and accompanied all of these with cups of hot chocolate.
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the session, thank you, and, a request for a repeat session some time next year. Watch this space!
We have decided to cancel our morning session in the woods this week (Dec 6th) as we will be holding our Dark Woods session the same evening. Please feel free to join us, leaving at 6pm from the Garages. Please let me (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you plan to attend for catering purposes.
We have decided to move our Dark Woods Walk from December 13th to December 6th as there are several things on (MacRobert visit also on 13th and the Christmas Carol singing at the Christmas Extravaganza is on the 12th).
Our plans remain to leave the Garages at 6pm and walk up to our playsite where we will have some time to play and also have a sausage sizzle, toast some marshmallows and have some hot chocolate to drink.
We will be back at the garages by 7:30 (or feel free to leave earlier if that would suit you better).
We would welcome all of our children as well as their parents and siblings. I would appreciate if you could let me know if you plan to attend so that I have numbers for catering purposes. Thanks Jane
We had a fantastic session in the woods today. Our children are growing in confidence in the woodland environment.
We were interested to see if there were any changes to the woods after Storm Ali visited last week. We did see several trees that had fallen over and lots and lots of leaves and sticks on the ground. We remembered that the rain had turned the path into a river and we saw how the water had washed away some of the stones and mud and made the path all bumpy.
We were visited by several dogs during our session today and it was lovely to see how our children are learning to respect animals and beginning to understand that they should stand still and wait until the dogs have gone past. We were unlucky however that one passing dog took a fancy to one of our children’s mitts and ran off with it! If anyone finds a (lovely) mutt with a mitt in the neighbourhood please let us know!
We tried out a new activity today and put up a hammock. The children rapidly became experts at getting on to and out of the hammock. They thoroughly enjoyed the gentle swaying motion of swinging in the hammock and gazing at the trees and sky.
We were excited by the number of different mushrooms and toadstool we’ve been finding and also are becoming experts at spotting them in lots of different places. Some grow high up on trees, some in the grass and some in hollows beside the tree roots. There are so many shapes and colours. We have been learning that some mushrooms and toadstools can make us feel very sick so that we never try to eat them and that its best not to touch them. Sometimes we might touch one accidentally though and that’s ok, we just need to remember to wash our hands.
We’ve also been thinking about where the birds and animals in the woods live. We spotted some nest boxes on our walk to the woods today and we think it would be good to make a bird box and put it up in the woods for the birds to make a nest in. We found a den that looked just like the Gruffalo’s den so we decided to see if we could find where Fox, Owl, Snake and Mouse live too!
All in all, a huge amount of fun and just as much learning packed into 3 hours this morning 👍🏻