The Wildlife Trusts are running a challenge for people to spend June connecting with nature. I’m keeping a diary of how I spend my wild days.
“Play is a biological necessity that puts the child in the driving seat.”
The play theorist Bob Hughes inspired the recent Forest School Association conference with his words about play. There were challenges in that speech for us all too. He talked about when children’s play becomes sexualised and violent. Play which makes us, the adult uncomfortable. He said that if we truly support the play process then we should allow it to ‘play’ out. That a child needs to have a range of experiences for their healthy development and the adult should not intervene with this process. For me and for others at the conference this conundrum is manifested regularly in the woods when we see a child’s interaction with living things and when those thing are killed or harmed because of the interaction.
I love listening to the birds. For many years I’ve not know who I was listening too although I can know pick out more than I used to. Last year I was introduced to Jon Young’s introduction to the five voices of the birds. Rather than focus on who it is he asks ‘What are they saying?’ This is so much more fun to try and work out by yourself especially if you don’t have an expert on hand. What sort of mood are they in? It will be different depending on whose voice you can hear, but the question is what are they saying?
For the little song birds there are in general five voices. As I listened to Jon Young explaining them I tried to remember by counting them off on my fingers. That’s when I realised my fingers held the key to my memory;
Notes from my sketch book as I read “Your brain on nature” by Eva.M. Selhub and Alan.C.Logan.
If you are interested in finding out more about how nature supports and affects people emotionally and physically our Level 3 Forest School practitioner course explores the ideas.
Have you been spending time in nature? What signs of spring have you seen?
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There is a really fascinating process you can do with fire that is basically making charcoal but without any wood… [..read more..]
There is something about playing in the woods, exploring, experimenting that really stimulates discoveries. I remember when I was a teenager reading about oak gall ink in a book on art techniques but I hadn’t tried it until today. [..read more..]
I thought I’d share with you a little doodle I had in the last edition of the Forest School Association newsletter. This is based on something that happened with a group I was working with a few years ago.
When you follow the children’s ideas you end up in very interesting places!
I recently spent a week in Hamburg and Berlin with a study tour for play professionals co-ordinated by ip-dip.com and www.meynellgames.org. The tour took us to scrapstores, adventure playgrounds, public parks and playspaces, community provision, waldkindergarten and green school playgrounds. [..read more..]
So the cliché goes, there are lots of things Germany does well; public transport, sausages, compound nouns… actually all these things are true, but I’ve been discovering that in Berlin and Hamburg there are some other things that are done well; challenging, exciting and sustainable play provision for children and young people. [..read more..]
Reviewing and reflecting is a really important part of what I do as a practitioner. It is also what I encourage children and other practitioners to do so they can see their own learning and acknowledge each others achievements. Sometimes really wonderful things come up. [..read more..]
And there, in the woods, I found all the fairie’s houses. Generations of them, some with little notes pinned to them, some in trees, apparently people come for miles to build houses here; [..read more..]