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Life in a Forest Pre-School During the Winter Months

Hello from The Forest Pre-school at Copythorne! Here is a little insight into what we have been up to in the woods this term. The children have loved our new café area where they have been taking orders from customers and using teapots, cups, and jugs to tip and pour water, making lots of tea and coffee. The addition of flower petals and herbs has led to some fantastic, highly engaged play and imagination.

We have been developing skills in the workshop area, where the children always have free access to hammers and nails to tinker with. Staff have then been supporting the children using tools such as the bow saw and hand drills to build their own creations, and peelers to whittle sticks. We have had unicorns, dinosaurs, swords, magic wands, and lots of log dogs!

The weather this term has certainly posed a challenge for us with numerous days of high winds and heavy rain. Despite the woodland enduring some adversity, the children and staff have coped admirably and emerged resilient. The mud pit turned into a lake, which provided so much fun for puddle jumping, mud sliding, bridge building, and floating and sinking experiments. We had campfires for a warm snack when the weather allowed, enjoying things like beans, toast, pizza, hot dogs, and bagels, as well as some hot chocolate to drink. Our bell tent has also been used lots to cosy up on the toadstool seats, listening to stories, being imaginative with the soft toys and puppets, and eating lunch in the dry when needed.

The drop in temperature and finally dry weather this week has been very welcome, leaving us with frosty leaves and stumps to investigate patterns and shapes, and opportunities to search for ice to look through and crunch up. The birds are back out looking for food, so we have put up a new bird table to leave our fruit scraps on and have been using our ID books to spot them. So far, we've seen our resident Robin pairs, lots of Blackbirds, a few noisy Magpies, and some Great Tits. We're hoping to see our Nuthatches back soon too.

By Sarah Ford (Supervisor of The Forest Preschool Copythorne)

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