Forest Club – Newsletter for spring term first half 2018
18 June 2018

So much has been happening in our after school forest club this term, so read on to find out more…

For the first half of this term we focused on eco art, experimenting with making our own hazel stick paintbrushes, charcoal sticks and plant-based paints. We have also been creating clay paint pots. We will be extending these activities over the coming months, by making our own paper, inks and pens, grinding and mixing mineral pigments, moulding beeswax crayons and printing.

Around the fire circle, the children have been eating freshly cooked nettle fritters and pancakes and been bringing their own instruments into the woods to create some campfire music together.

You will probably have noticed that the woodland area is looking quite overgrown recently. This is a managed plan to allow flora and fauna to recover and thrive, and to create exciting areas where children can play and explore. We will be selectively clearing and weeding areas, as we encourage some plants and control others, and will also be responsive to how the children choose to move and play in the space, developing new pathways and clearings. This revised management plan for the site has resulted in a dramatic increase in imaginative, focused and confident play amongst the children and an increasing awareness of nature. It has also provided an abundant supply of natural materials for the children to work with.

For the last few weeks Becky and Chloe, HE students from Petroc College, who are on Teaching and Learning/Early Childhood Studies courses, have been working with us to meet the requirements of their work-based learning modules. We are very grateful for their creative input and commitment and we look forward to further students joining us over the coming years. We are eager for students on these courses to have the opportunity to learn, first-hand, about the immense potential of child-led outdoor play and learning, and the children in our after school and holiday groups at Appledore are excellent teachers!

Half term woodland club

May play and mindful meandering made the half term woodland club a mellow place to hang out, play games and get creative for the day!

Some of the activities included the use of hand drills for name garlands, vegetable peelers to remove bark from freshly cut lengths of hazel to make forest friends and peeling willow for toasting marshmallows later in the day.

The use of fine motor skills demonstrated how to push out the pith of fresh elder using a tent peg, which was then used as dry tinder along with experiments using cotton wool, flint and steels and even crisps in the fire lighting challenge!

With the summer holiday fast approaching, Mudtastic will be offering a number of days during July & August of woodland fun & activities. Follow us on Facebook for more info.

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