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Session 2 - Sizzle & Pop

The sun smiled on Beech Group this morning. The children arrived to a chorus of happy birds singing and then we surprised them by taking them to a completely new camp. The beautiful Chestnut Camp which was dappled with sunshine and new places to explore.

The children reminded themselves of the adults' names and had to guess the names of two more of our lovely volunteers who were back this week. I wonder if they can remember??? Clue: 1 is the name of the insect who was collecting nectar from the flowers. Clue 2 is the name of a baby deer.

We then reminded the children of the rules of the fire-circle and talked about what we could say to someone who forgot to help and keep them safe. Ask them if they can remember the special word we say to someone who steps into the fire circle. We talked about what we needed to make a fire. I told the children we needed 3 things to start a fire. Lots of children suggested sticks and logs (FUEL) . I told the children we needed something special in the lovely fresh air (OXYGEN). What could the third thing be? What would make our fire light? It was suggested that I rub some sticks together. What a great idea! Unfortunately, this method is a bit slow and even though I tried REALLY hard I could get any sparks! However, they were right about friction creating heat and we experimented by rubbing our hands together. We felt them getting hotter and hotter....HEAT was the third thing we needed to start our fire. Somebody suggested matches but we didn't have any! Luckily, I had a little help from my friend the Sneezy Dragon who had lent me his special tool (fire steels). And so, with a huge group "Aitchoo" we were able to light a fire.

The children had all thought we were going to toast marshmallows (we will do, I promise!) but today we were using seasonal produce that had been foraged from Deggs Wood......Elderflower. Small groups of children prepared a batter by stirring, whisking and folding. They were amazing at turn-taking and we even did some counting in French. Then we dipped the elderflower florets in the batter and fried them over the campfire until golden brown. Finally, we dusted them with icing sugar and then the best bit.....we ate them!! Everybody who tasted them thought they were "DELICIOUS"! (as with many things in life, looks can be deceiving and the photos definitely don't do this campfire creation credit). Whilst, the children were sampling the fritters we also cooked some corn kernels over the fire and created a HUGE mound of the popcorn which was also a huge hit. 

During the session the children were also given plenty of opportunities to explore and play in a new area of the woods. At the end of the session we revisited our tree identification from last week and introduced two new trees: The Sweet Chestnut with it's huge tooth edged leaves and smooth bark that gives its name to the camp we were in this week and a baby beech tree and its Great, Great Grandfather right in the corner of the woods. Each child was given a beech leaf to take home and lots of them enjoyed stroking it and thought it felt "furry".

We hope you find time to look through this week's gallery. It's a fabulous opportunity to hear from your children about what really goes on at Forest School. Next week we will be looking at another tree and using its leaves to create something rather surprising and we will also be finding out a little more about some of the birds that share our lovely woods with us. There will also be plenty of opportunities to play, explore, create and communicate.

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