It was a delight to learn that Lauren runs FS sessions in the dark and was a pleasure to observe one. Thank you!
The thing that struck me the most as an 'eye-opener' for myself was the amount of freedom the children had to run about in the woods in the dark. I had to restrain myself from pointing out all the potential hazards for the children and to ask them to be careful when they were running around in the dark amongst the branches. You explained that some of the children have been taking part in Forest School with you for over two years and are very familiar with the site and with each other. The children knew the environment very well and you had gone through all the boundaries and hazards many times before. It was great to witness the level of trust everyone had and it was also a learning experience for myself to not intervene. A good experience to reflect back on once I start my own forest school programme one day :)
I wondered if the site was prepped or needed to be prepped to eliminate some unnecessary risk, e.g. saw off particularly sharp branches. However, the very next day when I came along to the morning session Lauren held for toddlers and parents, I noticed that she (in the daylight) took out a hand saw and sawed off a branch :) So I think this answered my question.
The 'Grandma's cookies' game - it was great to see this game being played in the dark with head torches!
The next morning Lauren was kind enough to invite me to observe a FS Drop-In session for 1- 5 year olds. It was very impressive how you instantly transformed the site into a wonderful woodland nursery. It gave me the opportunity to see that by knowing a knot or two and using some rope and a log, you can create a very safe and strong swing. I saw how much one particular child enjoyed using that swing.
All the other activities you set out were also really useful to see how a space can be divided up and used to provide lots of different play and learning zones.
It was nice that you had hot drinks available for the children and adults. The parents were so happy to know that coffee was available! A good point to remember ;)
It was wonderful to chat to some of the parents. It was interesting to hear from a parent that their child was so relaxed at the sessions compared to a mainstream nursery.
Thank you so much for the experience and I would love to help out again in the near future.
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