Shelter building & nature photography

Hello once again!

Our Forest School fall semester is slowly coming to an end, sadly. But we will be back next year for sure. And maybe your children will be too!

On these last chilly Forest School days we have been wandering, hiking and exploring to keep ourselves warm. Last week’s theme was: nature photography. For this the students decided they wanted to visit the Clendennan Damn once more. We brought a camera with us and went on a Nature Photography Scavenger Hunt. On the list of pictures to take were many things like: something red, the inside of something, someone’s eye, somewhere down low, something cozy and many more. The children also added their own ideas: a fish, a bridge, a funny perspective … So as we arrived at the damn the hunt for the best photo was on! The Snowy Owls took turns with the camera hiking along the path, lurking behind the trees to try and find something unique to take a snapshot of. We made a lot of discoveries: animal tracks, close ups of tree barks & other plants, (dead) animals … At the end of our day we looked at all the awesome snapshots on a computer!

Here are some of the best snapshots that were taken by the students:

An other thing that has been going on in Heathcote is that the Snowy Owls have been building a fort on the property these last weeks. They like to begin their day with this and as every student arrives, they eagerly join in to continue the construction of the perfect forest school home. The idea is to winterize it a little. This children are waiting for the snow. Once the snow is here, they plan to insulate their fort with snow walls to make it warm and cozy inside. Building this fort has been a challenge in terms of gathering suitable materials, transporting them and setting them up. While building this fort there has also been a lot of ideas, problems, different opinions and teamwork. The making of this fort has brought up a lot of social challenges as well. Sometimes the students are in a ‘flow’ and all agree quickly on ideas and are able to make decisions easily, other days there was a lot of disagreement and the decision making led to discussions and even arguments. All of this is part of the process and it’s extremely helpful to have the time at Forest School to let this process develop and support the children in their social skills. When things became to difficult we held a “staff meeting” in the fort to gather our ideas and discuss our problems. We all became an advocate of our own ideas and the entire group project: fort. It was very amazing to experience the children’s will-power and engagement in the making of this shelter. The acceptance of everyone’s thoughts and feelings, the empathy for one anther, the excitement of creating a personalized shelter, looking out that no one is excluded … to name a few of the positive aspects that developed and grew during this project. Our fort is yet to be finished … stay tuned to see the outcome of it in the next two weeks!

Next week: winter celebration

See you then!

More pictures of our fun day 🙂

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