Friday, 11 September 2015

Bear Woods has become a real woods!!

The joy of running on ahead up to red circle!
We had our first visit to Bear Woods this morning and the children had been counting the sleeps until this momentous event! This little space has really come into it's own in the last few months, some the Alder trees are now about 12 foot high and we can really begin to see what shape the space will take in the next few years as the trees fill out and become sturdy enough to climb.
The space when it was first fenced off in 2013.
The class of 26 are still in two separate groups of 14 and 12 for a short 2 hour session each day so it meant we had lots of time to help get them ready for the visit by getting on their wellies and 'rain gear'. We have perfected a good system where we call a child at a time to hep them get dressed whilst the others play about in the playground and then whenever everyone is dressed we head off.
As this was their first visit, they had lots of new instructions - to walk on the footpath outside the nursery and to let a grown up go first and that grown ups are the only ones who open any gates in nursery however the best part of going to Bear Woods is that once we are around the corner from the school car park we can let the children run ahead up the hill to Bear Woods - we have a red circle on the gate that they must wait at for the rest of the class.
Once inside we had snack sitting on the new seats Cahal, one of the caretakers made over the summer. We did find they were a little too high and sloped & some of the children keep slipping down the seats like dominoes! However, Cahal has assured me it's no problem for him to adjust the height of them.
Our new seating that just needs a little tweak!
After snack the children were free to explore the site and even in the 2 month period since we were last there in June, it was amazing how much the space has filled in. The trees are much bushier and some provide gorgeous red leaves and berries - the children were told not to eat the berries but they enjoyed incorporating them into their play in the simple 'mud kitchen'.
How magical must this space appear to a 3 or 4 year old!
They found the slope a challenge and a lot of them were saying they had sore legs after running up and down the slope a few times. They enjoyed climbing up using the rope and then rolling down again - this is a skill they will develop over the year as today most rolled across rather down!
On the way back down again, the children had no problem accepting that a grown up would walk first as they were heading back towards the school car park. They got back to nursery just in time to get their rain gear off watch a short DVD and then it was time to go home.
I am truly grateful that this little space was planted and fenced off for the nursery children to enjoy year after year.


  1. I remember you first creating this space for the children back in 2013. What a difference a couple of years makes it really is a fabulous area for them to explore now. I had to smile at the image of them sliding down the bench but it sounds like it will be no trouble to fix that. A wonderful way for the children to spend a morning And I know from our own experience how popular a mud kitchen is. Lovely to see you back and sharing your preschool adventures on Country Kids.

    1. Thank Fiona, it is quite amazing how quickly it has become such a unique space to enjoy. Glad to be back - really!!

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