|Peter from An Creagan made this sign for us.|
This week I began to talk about Bear Woods, this is our little wild area within the school grounds that is planted with alder, guilder rose, rowan & birch trees. Last year we used this area on a weekly basis & we were amazed at how much the children enjoyed & looked forward to their time in this tiny fenced off area. It really proved to us, the adults, that children don't need vast forest areas or loads of resources to enjoy being outside in a natural environment. We can see the area from the playground, I talked about how we would walk up the hill to get there & that they could run ahead but must stop at the red circle on the fence. Some enjoyed looking at the red circle from the top of the slide. I talked about they must never open the gate - that's a job for grown ups!
|Running up the hill towards the red circle on the gate.|
I also brought a set of rain gear (our waterproof coats & dungarees) into the story room so they could see what they will wear, with several children with sensory issues I was very concerned that this may be a big issue for them, many children with sensory issues hate the sound & feel of the rain gear. The next day most couldn't wait to get trying on the rain gear for themselves & many have put it on every day since.However, I forgot that 3 & 4 year olds don't really understand the concept of next week & after the first day of talking about going to Bear Woods, several arrived in the following morning all excited & ready to go there & then! So that day I drew the number of 'sleeps' until we go on the whiteboard in the story room & each day we rub another sleep off until they will begin to see the actual day getting closer!
|A small sloping piece of grass dotted with saplings - but guess what to 3 & 4 year olds it quickly became 'Bear Woods'!|
We plan to go up to Bear Woods every Wednesday & it will be perfect to have 2 weeks to explore the space in the smaller groups of 15 & 13 before the whole class begins to go there.
I hope that this year the class enjoy this small space as much as the children did last year, it never ceased to amaze us each week how excited & happy they were to go there. It also proved to us that children don't need loads of fancy resources to have fun! It also was a great reminder to us, the adults, how trees help to make the seasons even more noticeable.
|A Guelder Rose in flower in spring.|