Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sluggy Mud or Muddy Slugs

Last day of Forest School for this year-lots of mud and small creatures involved.  Under a single and very small log, we found an earwig nest, two slugs, some slug eggs, a centipede, a woodlouse and some ants. I do find earwigs a bit much as they are always in big groups, and they don't just appear, they get uncovered and spill out of places in large numbers-in my experience anyway! I hide it well though.
The eggs are quite pretty I think. I also like the delicate grey colour of the slug's eyes.
The highlight of Forest School this week was showing the children a dead blackbird. Our TA took some equipment out and found it (I had not seen it when doing my safety sweep first thing-don't know how I missed it really!) I asked if it was too gory to show the children and she thought so. When I went round to get it I decided to show them the head only as that was not too bad. So I wrapped the body in a paper towel. Once they sat down in base camp, I explained what I had found, and that it was probably killed by a cat. I gave them the choice to look or not. All but two children wanted to see the bird so I went around the circle.

"Is he a baby bird?"

"Where is his Mummy, Daddy and brother and sister?"

"Has he got legs?"

"He looks like he's sleeping."

"He's got no eyes."

"Where is his body?"

"He was killed by cats and monsters and wolves."

These were just some of the things the children said. It was a strangely moving experience actually, because they were all really interested and somehow respectful. I felt like the little bird gave a lot to the children, sad though his death was. On a factual note we noticed that he had a pointed tongue that followed the shape of his beak. I have never been close enough to a bird to look in its mouth before.


jabblog said...

Forest School gives your children a unique opportunity to explore and observe - and to get their hands dirty:-)

Anonymous said...

In these days of elf'n'safety restrictions, it is wonderful to see the children getting seriously muddy!! I think showing them the dead bird was a good idea - a gentle introduction to the realities of nature.

Leenie said...

I agree with frayedattheedge. Kids are hovered over so much that they often miss opportunities to get dirty and learn about life (and death).

Kat Mortensen said...

Oh joy! An earwig nest. My favourite!

Lynne said...

How touching.
I always like to hear about your Forest School. No doubt you are looking forward to the holidays now.

Jenny Woolf said...

I wish there was a forest school near us. They're such a great idea.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, hm, just noticed you live in London so you ARE near us. Is the forest school north or south?

KindredSpirit said...

Great pictures, especially the muddy hands. I bet the children LOVE forest school in this weather!