Build a Woodland Shelter for Forest School | Richard

‘There is no such thing as bad weather….. just the wrong clothing’ is an oft repeated mantra amongst outdoor educators and especially in the field of Forest School. Maybe I am a bit soft but there are some days when I struggle psychologically with the rain and cold in the woods even when clad in layers of merino wool, fleece and good waterproofs. I just need somewhere dry to sit  for a while and have a hot drink and a chat. Even better if it feels a little homely and gives a sense of security in the driving rain.

 

Over the years I have used various shelters from canvas covered…

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Make a hot chocolate whisk for Forest School | Richard

Hot drinks are a must for all ages learning outdoors at this time of year. A communal drink break is part of our Forest School routine whatever the weather and on really cold days or for end of term treats, I sometimes break out the hot chocolate. If making real hoc choc with milk, then a whisk is essential and provides an opportunity for a bit of authentic needs based learning. It might be a little bit late on the 9th January but if you can find a Christmas tree to recycle then you can have a go at making your own – it is really easy.

This design is likely as old as humankind and is…

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Fire Breathing Dragons | Richard

 

I can’t remember where I first heard firesteels (Ferrocerium rods) described as ‘Dragon Sneezes’ but I always like the mental picture of baby dragons with colds surprising themselves with a sneeze of sparks. Firemaking with sparks is always popular with children at Forest School, but over the years, I have found that some children have difficulty holding and manipulating such fiddly little handles. They are also remarkably easy to loose amongst the leaf litter on the forest floor.

No longer!   I have pimped my firesteels with a touch of viking inspired dragon carving. The round one is…

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The Future is Pewter | Richard

Playing with pewter seems to have become the thing to do in Forest School circles, I imagine this is thanks largely to this great blog post by Lily Horseman of Kindling Play and Training.

   

 

I bought some lead free pewter on ebay a few months ago and have been experimenting and learning about casting molten metal alongside participants on my most recent 2 Forest School Training courses. We have been making moulds with clay dug on site and making imprints with natural objects such as acorns and leaves as well as sculpting shapes using knives, pegs and sticks. There seems to be an…

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15 Things To Make With Elder at Forest School | Richard

THE ELDER TREE

I hold it needless to write any description of this, since every boy that plays with a pop-gun will not mistake another tree instead of elder:
Culpepers Complete Herbal 1652

When I’m assessing a woodland for long term educational use, my heart always lifts when there is a profusion of Elder (Sambucus Nigra) growing there. Along with Hazel and Ash, it is one of the trees I most commonly look to for wood for simple crafts.  Apart from the heady scent of its blossom in early summer, the most wonderful thing about Elder is the spongy pith in the middle of all it’s…

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Why SLANT? — …to the real. | Richard

At a past Michaela debate I heard Peter Hyman describe a desire for education ‘…with a smile, not a SLANT.’ The implication was not only, bizarrely, that the two are mutually exclusive (Bright Face is another technique taken from Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion) but that ‘SLANT’ is somehow not desirable. The acronym stands for Sit up straight, […]

via Why SLANT? — …to the real.

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Why SLANT? — …to the real. | Richard

At a past Michaela debate I heard Peter Hyman describe a desire for education ‘…with a smile, not a SLANT.’ The implication was not only, bizarrely, that the two are mutually exclusive (Bright Face is another technique taken from Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion) but that ‘SLANT’ is somehow not desirable. The acronym stands for Sit up straight, […]

via Why SLANT? — …to the real.

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