Winter Programs Week Two (February 8)

Wednesday Forest School – Cole Harbour

This week at forest school had MUCH less snow than the last! And though this meant we spent less time (no time) sledding, the students were eager to  spend their time building forts!

We spent most of the day playing around “Bumblebee camp.” The students spent their time building, exploring hammocks and using their imaginations.

This was the first time many of these students have used a hammock with us at forest school and it was a new challenge to discover. One of the younger students was shown how to setup their hammock and use a pull rope to swing themselves; our older student was left with the direction to try it themselves first. We always encourage our students to try any task themselves first before asking for help. We ensured this student that if they were struggling we would be happy to come over and help out, but offered the opportunity to try it themselves first. Beginning with finding the right trees,  to figuring out how to get the hammocks out of their bags and lastly figuring out how the hammocks attach to the trees safely and securely. Step by step this student was able to use their intuition and trial and error to successfully complete the challenge.

In using their grand imagination, one student spent their day creating and tending to a weapons shop.

“Let’s challenge our thinking here:

Why do we allow this type of play that others might perceive as violent?

Weapon play allows children to explore natural curiosities around weapons. During this play I saw [this student] use strong communication skills with the other children to explain the weapons and their uses. He collaborated with other children on what else he could add and what other weapons they could create. They determined the different costs of weapons and which ones are better than others. During their battles the children got to act out real life consequences and responsibilities of using weapons. Plus the children were resolving conflicts and problem solving during weapon play and having fun while doing so!”
And even in our short 3 hour program our students were eager to squeeze in a quick hike and visit the spot they were playing in last week. Last week these students created a base near the sledding hill; they were excited to build some structures and play in the area again this week. Fort building is a great opportunity to see students work together.

We are excited to see what next week holds for this program; the weather has a huge impact this time of year over the type of activities we will be doing each week.

The mystery can be a fun surprise though.

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