Enabling Environments: Forest school diary - Foxes and dragons

Friday, October 26, 2012

Animals, real and mythical, featured in the children's latest visit to the woods, says Caroline Watts, forest school leader, Reflections Nursery & Forest School, Worthing, West Sussex

Today the children were preoccupied with animals of all sorts. When we arrived at the forest, we gathered by the gate and talked about what to look out for. 'Rabbits!' said Olivia.

Ruby pointed to a different way into the forest, so we explored the path and wondered what had made the muddy tracks:

Teddy 'Maybe it was lions!'

Megan 'Or a dragon!'

On Leila's suggestion, we started to look for foxes, keeping an eye out for foxes holes. 'We might need to hide if there are foxes,' she warned.

Teddy found a moss-covered log, and on close inspection, announced: 'This is made of fox!'

When we made it to camp, some of the children decided they would try to make a bridge over the ditch.

Joshua 'Be careful of sharks in the water.'

Teddy 'That is why we are making a bridge.'

Animals cropped up in the children's play throughout the day.

Ava 'I am drawing a lion.'

Ava, Ruby and Sam 'Raaaa! I am a lion.'


The other preoccupation of the day was den-building. Five of the children embarked on building it, but when Shelley went inside, all the other children decided to join her.

Ruby, Olivia and Leila continued to play inside the den.

Leila 'Would you like to come to my house? I am making tea.'

Reflections has operated a Forest School programme for children over three years old since summer 2009. Three groups of up to 12 children go to the woodland by minibus every week for at least 30 weeks a year. Families are sent a four-page diary of each visit.


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