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  • upstreamforestschool

Rabbits, 12 Oct

Taking our rope skills further we challenged the class to setup a slackline with square knots and a ladder swing with butterfly knots. The knot tying skills also were employed to beautiful effect in the macrame yarn art we created. They called these their 'dreamcatchers'. These dextrous activities develop fine motor skills and confidence while supporting the spatial skills required to coordinate all the over / under, left / right and looping instructions involved. The usefulness of tying knots, the versatile applications and the capability these skills afford, give the children an experience of independence and mastery.

Exploring the theme of connection with nature we shared a story called "I'm in charge of celebrations" and shared stories of our 'wow' moments in nature. We especially focused on encounters with animals and after sharing these special moments in a circle, we drew or wrote about these experiences in our journals. Seeing how each child responded to this activity and their eagerness to share their artwork and tell their story, reminded us of the impact of seeing animals and how precious these memories are. A few of the encounters re-told were from time spent at forest school, including seeing a coyote or a fox on the Bluff.

Tools were used to make stools today! This child-led initiative created some impressive results and some proud products to take home. The big bow saws were pushed and pulled in pairs to cut stumps from a big log. With rasps and sandpaper the stools were smoothed to create a comfortable seat. They were also fun to roll down the hill!

A fascinating specimen, the gizzards of two grouse, brought by Theo, were a marvelous curio and sparked lots of questions about the digestive system and diet of grouse (and humans for that matter). These gizzards show the undigested food still intact in the grouse. Knowledgeable Theo was able to shed light on the topic and guide our inquiry.

We fended of the chill with some great games. Predator prey, which is a quick test of knowledge for which animal is predator and which is prey, was enjoyed by all and got everyone running and laughing. Our zombie ant game, got some collaboration going and did all the things we love games for...bringing up challenges and negotiations, fast thinking, creating connections along with a whole lot of fun!

To reflect upon our time together and create space to express emotions, with appropriate scaffolding to make it feel safe and natural, we drew a face on a rock or stick and placed it on the target to indicate where our feelings sat in response to stimulating questions. This process of debriefing creates a safe space to express feelings, including challenging ones, like anger and hurt, and allows emotional processing strategies to be shared easily between peers.\

All in all, another glorious day on the hill among the beautiful Fall scenery with some wonderful people sharing the best of themselves with each other.

Connection Questions

- what special moment when you encountered an animal did you share today?

- did you use the bow saw? What did you like about using it? Did you make a stool?

- did you stand on the slackline or climb the rope ladder swing?

- did you make a 'dreamcatcher' macrame textile art hanging?

- was there a moment at forest school today that stopped you, that made you think 'wow'?

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