Session 1: May 9
We were so excited to start Forest School and meet the 3 to 5 year olds in this program!
We started our day with the ‘Forest School Oath’ which is:
“I promise to take care of myself, I promise to take care of all my friends, and I promise to take care of mother nature”. Then we walked into the forest while singing, and quickly made some cool discoveries: a dinosaur bone, fiddleheads, bracket mushrooms, and BUGS!
Then we discovered that we had buckets, and a nearby snow-fed stream! It didn’t take long to fill up our buckets and get started on some soup-making with a lot of ‘special forest ingredients’.
After stopping for a snack, we went back to the stream, and the kids found out that they were allowed to go INTO the stream and get a little wet and muddy! They even found a bridge that took a lot of balance to cross. The soup making evolved into cake baking after building a really cool forest oven!
Session 2: May 16
When everyone arrived today, they were so excited to be back at forest school, and wanted to get right back to soup making, bridge crossing, and bug-finding!
One of the most exciting things from today was a note from Sammy the Squirrel, who left us a present hidden near wreckage pond. It was a book about a Wise Woman and Her Secret! It was a really great book 🙂
After snack, we set up some hammocks! A few tired kids had some 10 second naps, and everyone had fun swinging in them!
Session 3: May 23
After hanging up our packs on the backpack rack, we found a letter left to us from the Forest Gnomes, and the day quickly turned into a BUG DAY!
We went on a bug hunt, and learnt that the best way to find bugs is to flip over logs. We also learnt about the importance of putting the log back where we found it so that we leave the bugs their habitat. Some kids weren’t too sure about the bugs at first, but quickly got swept up in the excitement! We found some speedy centipedes, and lots of sow/pill bugs that we named: ‘Tickily bugs’.
We also had fun with some giant slugs that left impressive slime trails, and orange goo on our fingers! We made sure to wash our hands especially good before snack time today!
After snack, we decided to try to make some presents our of clay for Sammy the Squirrel, and thought he would like it if we make some bugs! It was fun to feel the clay on our hands and get muddy!
Session 4: May 30
Today was as awesome day at Forest School. We leaders noticed a big difference in the kids this week, especially compared to the first session. The children took the lead much more today on what activities they wanted to do, we leaders were able to step back into more of an observing role. Some kids wanted to look for bugs, others wanted to make ‘special spicy soup for Sammy’, and they were really good a sharing and communicating with each other!
Some children wanted to build bridges, and with a little help from Christian, built two of them! One shy three year old also ventured into the stream for the first time, and had a blast!
These two wanted to go on an adventure on the other side of the stream, exploring the area of the forest pretty far away from home base. They were the leaders, and founds lots of cool bugs and mystery animals dens.
Near the end of the session, we found some awesome spider egg sacs laid on a peices of birch bark. Then the pieces of bark became treasure maps, and one child read us a poem on the bark that she made up in her head: “Trees are tall, trees are round, trees are little, all around!”. When we were done with the treasure maps, we tried making the bark into boats!
Session 5: June 6
Today picked up right from where we left off last week! We made soup and cakes for Sammy the Squirrel, practiced our balancing on the bridges, and continued exploring the forest!
Session 6: June 13
We had such a fun day today! We found a salamander egg mass in our stream! One child loved holding it, and said that it felt squishy, but hard at the same time. Everyone else thought it looked to gross to touch, but were still very interested.
Sammy the Squirrel left us another book hidden near Wreckage Pond, which is always fun to try to find! Afterwards, some us stayed awhile and played in the pond to look for frogs.
Then we took out the magnifying glasses and found some mysterious red spots on some leaves, and lots of interesting-looking lichen growing on the trees, and of course, found some bugs too!
After snack, a few kids created objects with clay with Marianne, and others played hide and seek, and tried to climb trees! We also took out the hammocks again, and had so much fun! Two kids even started a rock band and really started jamming out since they were allowed to use their ‘outside voices’!
Today we started putting away the tarp before the end of the session, which turned into the best game yet!
Session 7: June 20
Seven weeks can go by so fast! This was our last session, so we created a treasure hunt for the kids. The first clue led us to the pond where we had to find a bunch of special forest treasures to leave for Sammy the Squirrel before getting our next clue.
The next clue led us to the bridge, but we had to make some soup and cake for Sammy before getting the next clue. We also took a break to eat a snack and read a book. This treasure hunt was a lot of work!
The next clue led us to the gnome house where we played for a little while and built a cool ladder! Then we followed the final clue to the fort, where we found the surprise of Forest School medals from Sammy!
We had so much fun with everyone! Thank you so much for joining us in the forest, and we hope to see you again!