Forest School and Butterflies.

IMG_8957Butterflies were the topic of the day today, a favourite of all three.  So that everyone could get  a chance at sawing and drilling, there were a lot of background activities to keep everyone else occupied whilst they weren’t sawing and drilling.  To be honest I didn’t think I would ever retrieve our little lady from the woods again, the amount there was to make today 🙂

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We learnt how to make paint from chalk, which was a new one for all three of my gang.  We crumbled chalk sticks of the colours we wanted into a paint palette, and then mixed them with a little water, and tah da!  They became paints.  Twin 2 has a fascination with the colour orange, and with no orange chalk stick, he was learning to mix colours.  There was also no red, so using pink and yellow he came up with a peachy colour he felt would satisfy his orange needs.  They could then do a few things with the paints (other than paint their entire hands…..).  They folded bracken leaves into a piece of cloth, and then bashed the cloth with a hammer, getting the colour imprinted onto the cloth in the shape of butterfly wings.  They then painted round the leaves to give their butterfly more definition.  This was a huge success for myself to see twin 2 doing all this, as he has never been into drawing shapes much (apart from practising his letters, he prefers squiggles and blobs), and for the first time I have seen, he actually drew/painted some intentional shapes and outlines.  The other activity they could do with the chalk paint, was paint half a butterfly, fold it into half to get the symmetrical wing prints, and then stick a “y” stick into the middle for the body and antennae.

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A butterfly feeder was something else they made.  They decorated a cut out flower head, and glued a bottle top into the middle, filling that with cotton wool (which when soaked with sugary water at home would attract the butterflies to feed).  They also learnt about water filtration.  The children had cut off large water bottles, which they would fill with various bracken leaves and other things lying around the forest floor, before pouring muddy water through the “nature water filter” and seeing how the water came out the other end.  The main event though was the sawing and drilling in order to make a caterpillar.  All three love handling the tools, and it gives them confidence and teaches them respect towards the tools as well.

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They sawed five sectionIMG_8973s off a chunky stick and then drilled holes through the middle of each one.  Then getting small sections of elder twigs, they poked the middle out with a tent peg.  This then enabled them to thread string through a circular section, followed by an Elder section, alternately, so they were then left with a caterpillar…..very effective.  We have come home with a whole host of nature craft that they are all very proud of, and a self esteem boost from the use of tools.  We then finished the busy session with the campfire.  Next week is our last pre-school twiglets forest school session as term ends, and we today signed up for the weekly home education forest school from September (the twins will be old enough to attend that one).  Our little lady has found herself very much at home in the woods and nature during these sessions, and has grown in confidence with the way she handles whatever the outdoor session is throwing at her, and is now very independent around the camp fire too.


Some of our crafty haul 🙂


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