springboards

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..]

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..]

Hour of Play 1“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato [..read more..]

Being known as ‘Lily who plays out for a living’ has some drawbacks…..erm…. I’ll tell you what they are when I think of them…

Excitingly, this winter, I will also be playing indoors too! A wonderful school has invited me into their foundation stage be their provider of springboards, their atelierista, their Lily who plays indoors sometimes too.

We’ll be going to the woods to do some Forest School sessions, carrying on some work we began last Spring but this will be an exciting opportunity to work over a number of terms with a group of children. Indoors and out, in the setting, in the studio, in the woods and in the grounds.

The Foundation Stage is influenced by Reggio Emilia and I will be offering provocations and springboards and seeing where the children want to go with them.

I have started to feel a bit nervous and excited! It’s going to be a new challenge. But where to start? I have so many ideas for provocations I barely know where to begin. There is a part of me that is tempted to start with nothing and see where we end up…. watch this space!

Trail Through Woods 4

Laying a trail improves empathic skills

I remember back to when I first started working with children, and I remember distinctly the first group of children I ever took into the woods. We followed a trail that was marked with posts and signs and the children loved running from one signpost to another, checking that we were following the right symbols and always waaaay ahead of me. [..read more..]

Fairy Houses 1

I followed a map to a special place in the woods and there I found all the fairy houses.

If you were given a map like this one, you would have to check it out, wouldn’t you? I was given this map yesterday and followed it to a special place in the woods:
Gif Created on Make A Gif

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..]

children with sticks

Springboards can be used by a child to take off in any direction!

I have been thinking a lot about springboards this week. Not the swimming pool ones, but a playwork theory that was first described to me by Martin Maudesley; sometimes even if we want to stimulate free play for children, or encourage self directed learning we need to provide a solid starting point – the springboard. This then can be used by the child to take off in any direction. [..read more..]

Rope Bridges

Rope Bridges

Building rope bridges encourages team working, problem solving and physical development

These last few months have seen an increase in the number of rope bridges I have been making with Forest School groups. It is interesting to notice how each group takes the same basic springboard and has their way of using it. [..read more..]

muddy hand

The thought of putting a hand into the mud can be pretty uuugh! for some people….

Why is clay cleaner than mud? Why are barbecues safer than fires?

These are questions that often come to my mind when I am working with adults rather than with children. The thought of putting a hand into the mud can be pretty uuugh! for some people. [..read more..]

I was sorting through some files of pictures today when I came across this series of pictures from earlier in the year. I really like that you can see the thought processes that this group of 3 and 4 year olds are working through.
[..read more..]