ideas

I was really inspired recently by a great whittling project. So much so I’ve been making these all week!

a skulk of foxes

six foxes

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Pewter 1Here’s a lovely thing to do over the fire. I did a bit of metal casting when I studied metalwork in my teens and it feels like alchemy every time you cast metal. [..read more..]

Badge of honour 1Many years ago I talked with my friend Martin about the idea of the badges of honour of outdoor play. Martin wrote about this in www.playengland.org.uk/media/130593/play-naturally.pdf, that dirt, stains and smells can be treated like ‘badges of honour’, ‘evidence of successful outdoor play’ and learning. Like all good ideas I’m still mining it. [..read more..]

Look After Yourself 1There are many ways that I have used over the years to set ground rules with children. It always boils down to this though… [..read more..]

Nordic Romantic Braid 1Occasionally I see a craft technique and think to myself “I can’t wait to take that to the woods!” So it was when I attended a textile workshop with Larry Schmidt at the North House Folk School. He specialises in traditional Scandinavian textile techniques that were brought to America by the first settlers and the have wonderful names like flettet snor, frynseflet, bregdet band and rundflet snor. [..read more..]

How to make char flowersThere is a really fascinating process you can do with fire that is basically making charcoal but without any wood… [..read more..]

Alder Bees 1I was asked to bring something to share at my recent visit to Wood School. I haven’t made these alder bees with a group for years despite having all the bits in a nice little cigar box ready to go. [..read more..]

coppice birds 1Last year I learnt to make these little wooden birds from a local coppice worker. They are made from a single carved forked stick. [..read more..]

Adventure Essentials 1Every year we had make most of our Christmas gifts. My nieces and nephews are getting to an age where we can really really enjoy making stuff for them. I wanted to make a den building adventure kit for my oldest nephew. I had some ideas but I knew the Forest Education Initiative Facebook page would come up with more. They are a real source of inspiration and support for lots of people who work outdoors with children. [..read more..]

Handmade wooden Christmas treeI have set myself a creative challenge over on my Facebook page. Every day in December so far I have added a new winter festive craft made from things from the woods to a folder full of photographs.

Here’s a round up of my daily ideas so far. [..read more..]

How to Bake in the Woods 2Well-being is really important, especially if you are working outside all day in the cold and rain. So with that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favourite outdoor cooking treats, suitable for a day on the woods or a Forest School. [..read more..]

Ropes Bridges 1I’ve written before about building rope bridges among the trees and how fantastic they are for children’s motor development, encouraging social skills and confidence and being loads of fun. [..read more..]

How to dye eggs 1This is one of those things that I have been wanting to try for a while. I was invited to join a school’s staff Easter egg decorating competition. So I took the opportunity to dye some eggs using natural materials. [..read more..]

Hapa Zome 1

Stacey’s hapa zome with clover, dandelions, grasses, berries and petals

This is a wonderful creative technique that I often share with participants on training courses and with the children I work with. This week someone on a course made something so beautiful it reminded me I wanted to share this a bit more widely. [..read more..]

Idea Sparks Idea 3One of the elements I find really rewarding about working with lots of different groups of children and adults in different contexts is that the ideas and inspiration that develops with one group feeds into another and I often find themes emerging at certain times. [..read more..]

Making Popcorn on a Fire

Making Popcorn on a Fire

I took my fire top popcorn maker with me to the woods this week. Had I known it would be it’s last outing, I might have marked its passing in some way. The children were intrigued by the popcorn maker. A conversation I had with a group of 9 and 10 year olds went a bit like this: [..read more..]