On Tuesday I taught my first Forest School session! It was exciting, nerve wracking and a learning experience. It was also day 7 of 30 days wild, a bumper pack of outdoors fun. My session was focused around the book ‘Tiny Rabbit goes to the Park’ – in the story, Tiny Rabbit loses his bunny because he is so busy playing. Then all his friends hunt for bunny and have a picnic to celebrate when he is found. I decided to go for a bunny and hide and seek theme for my activities.
We realised that Tiny Rabbit’s backpack was empty and set off on a hunt for the missing bunny and 5 carrots. Once found it was clear that bunny was very popular. Perfect to lead into the next activity, making our own clay bunny!
This is where I found the session more challenging. Some children started to make a bunny, others were more interested in flattening their clay like a pancake. Fun ideas are contagious so they were all eventually making bunnies that looked suspiciously like pancakes. The teacher in me wanted to nag, get back on task and stick to the plan but I took a step back. I let them follow their own interests and enjoy the mud kitchen.
It was so great to listen to their conversations and see all the role play happening. “I am baking my bunny” was a favourite quote of the day. When energy and enthusiasm levels started to dip, I took some children to build bunny a home to keep him safe.
Without much prompting they started working as a team to collect sticks and leaves. A favourite moment of mine was watching them post leaves to each other, through the willow tunnel, rather than walk around every time.
After snack we nipped into the second site to see the froglets in the pond. The other group were so excited that we just had to see for ourselves. They were super tiny and the children were so patient waiting to spot one.
We ended the session with a quick bunny headband (made with two matching leaves for ears) and a game of hide and seek. Now I can’t for next weeks session when a tiger is visiting for tea!