It was bright, dry but very cold for our Forest School session this week. So we decided to focus on keeping warm. The picture story book ‘One Winter’s Day’ by M Christina Butler and Tina MacNaughton is the perfect introduction for such a session. The star of the story is a rather cute looking hedgehog, who puts on his hat, scarf and mittens and sets off on a cold stormy night to visit badger. Hedgehog’s nest has been blown away in the storm and Hedgehog is sure badger will know what to do. On his journey through the dark wood, hedgehog meets his woodland friends who are all suffering with the cold weather. Hedgehog gives away his hat, mittens and scarf before making a spectacular entrance at badger’s house. In a beautiful twist at the end of the story Hedgehog’s friends make hedgehog a new home to say thank you. With a bag of colourful hats and mittens and a few woodland creatures we followed in hedgehog’s footsteps and set off to the woods for our Forest School session.
We started by talking about how we keep warm in cold weather. How many layers of clothes are we wearing? Take your gloves off. How quickly do your hands feel cold and why? How else can we keep warm? Keeping moving of course is very important so a quick exercise session followed! Splitting into partners we were ready for the next challenge, The Hat and Mitten Challenge. After the storm Hedgehog’s hats and mittens are now lost all over the woods, can you find them? The children set off to reunite a mitten with the matching hat and mitten.
Now that we were nice and warm, it was time to turn our attention to our woodland friends. Each group started by building a shelter against a tree for their woodland creature. Picking the right tree and spot was essential. Was the spot out of the wind? The emphasis today was firmly on keeping warm so zip wires, pretty paths and swimming pools were out; moss, piles of leaves and tightly packed sticks were in. Everyone looked very carefully for any small holes, where the wind could sneak in and send a shiver through our creature. With the shelter finished, we set off with a friend to build our own small perfectly formed shelter. Soon, through out the woods, you could just see the little noses of hedgehogs and badgers peeping out of their new shelters. Do you think the creatures will come out and explore after we have gone? We don’t think so because they are sooooo warm and cosy, goodnight!