Friday, 13 December 2013

Winter in the Woods

A wonderful winter night in the woods this week. All wrapped up we set off to the outdoor classroom for some fun and games.

First a team challenge to transport as many tokens as possible form the bases in the woods, to the central circle, without being caught by the circle guardians. Do you turn on your torch so you can run faster but risk giving away your possition or keep the torch off and creep up slowly?

Then another challenge, this time to find the Christmas trees around the area and match up the pairs, red baubles, blue baubles, no baubles?

Then it was time for a rest, hot chocolate and a biscuit before one last game and home to bed.

Have a a great break and we'll be back in the new year.

Merry Christmas for Bradley Stoke Woodcraft

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Naughty Elephants Spray Water

or Never Eat Shredded Wheat.Did you have a rhyme to help you remember the compass points?

This week the Pioneers have been making their own compass, using a sewing needle, a drinking straw and a pot of water.

Resourceful as ever they  used the magnets on the door catches to magnetise their needles. Floated on water they will now point North. However seeing a needle floating on water is not that easy, which is where the straw comes in. Placing the needle inside a length of straw means it can still turn round but is much easier to see.

They also talked about some of the other ways to know which direction is which, such as where the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, or which side of a tree you're likely to find moss grow. Have a look at this list and see how many of them you know

Learn the Art of Natural Navigation

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Few things are more fun than heading out into the frosty winter air and building a snowman. We can't organise snow on demand, so we did the next best thing. Making our own, never melting, snowmen.

Just as with the colder kind everyone's snowmen were different, the children spent a long time sorting out the perfect way to build their snowman and then adding hats, scarves, buttons and of course carrot noses.

Father Christmas took so long to sculpt that his maker is going to be adding the red to his suit at home.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Stories by candle light

Last week we recycled empty jars into some colourful lanterns, the children produced some wonderful designs.

This week we used used a tarpaulin to set us a shelter, just like the ones we sometimes build in the woods to sleep in. This time we lit our lanterns and used it as a story telling space.

Each person chose one item form the story box, then together we used all the items to build the story. Which item would you choose?

This week our story was about George Bear, who lived in a house at the bottom of a huge beech tree in the woods. In the spring George enjoyed watching the buds grow on the trees, and the bluebells spread out across the forest floor. Once summer came George loved looking up and see little patches of sky through the leaves of the tall trees, but as autumn came and the leaves turned brown and started to fall from the trees George began to feel cold whenever he looked out of his window. He knew that soon it would be winter and the leaves would all be gone until Spring came round again.

George decided that he would gather together some things which reminded him of the long summer days, and he made a little space on the window sill where he could gather them all together.

His sunglasses came first, reminding him of the time he spent at the beach. He didn;t need sunglasses in the woods, the trees made plenty of shade. Then a pebble he'd collected on holiday, and a flower, and a lovely picture of the trees on a sunny day. He found a picture of his friend butterfly too, and added that to his display.

Finally once he'd set everything up he settled down in his chair, with a big bowl of porridge. Now he could look out of the window at the Autumn colours and then down at the windowsill and his display of summer memories and be reminded that after the snow and frost the bluebells would poke back through the ground and the trees would grow fresh green leaves again.

More autum leaft fun

The range of colours, textures and shapes of the fallen leaves gives us so may different ideas for craft activities.

This year the Elfins made window pictures with the leaves. Using clear sticky plastic means that when they are hung up the autumn sun will show off all the colours.

The pioneers have used their leaves, along with some clay to make little trinket bowls. Each one has the shape of the leaf and even the patterns of veins can still be seen inside the bowls.

After drying out for a week the bowls were ready for painting. Sadly due to a computer error we don't have many pictures of the finished bowls, but they were really special.

We do have one we can still show you