We’re back!

Well, we had a little break in January and did some maintenance on site ready to reopen again in February! Sarah and I spent a few mornings coppicing Hazel trees from a very kind local farmer in Kings Bromley. These are to be added to our current Hazel structure on http://www.woodlandbeasties.com/site.

We had all hands on deck including our little ones helping us out with creating our sensory garden where people have kindly donated old wash hand basins, sinks and tiles to add to our sensory garden. Currently we have Rosemary, Sage and Oregano growing there along with some daffodils and bluebells trying to break through.

  

It was a strange few weeks of Pancake Tuesday, then Valentines Day, then Chines New Year all in one week! But we made some time to mix up a pancake mixture on site and cooked them on our campfire. Delicious!

Along with our sensory garden we now have a music area with a bamboo xylophone and drum kit especially designed with a Beasties stamp. We are loving hearing all the nurses rhymes and songs that are being sung.

A few more additions like our take a photo frame. Let me hear you roar!!

And how about that snow at the end of February huh?! Sarah was in her element like being back at home for her! Of course we went down on site to check if all was ok and had a little play in the snow. It was magical there.

Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Tha Woodland Beasties Team

We have been busy on site in January ready to reopen!

Hello and Happy New Year to you all!

We have said goodbye to 2017 and welcomed in 2018 and it has certainly been a busy month this January doing site maintenance and planning for the year.

As we are open 11 months of the year February to December, each year in January the Woodland Beasties Team take a little break, then we sit down and plan lots of exciting events and activities that we think you and your little ones will really enjoy and look forward to take part in. We then go to our site and plan what new additions would be really cool to add, with an emphasis on reusing, recycling, reducing any waste. We have had some fantastic donations of old sinks, apple crates, wash hand basins and much more that we can have on site. #reuse #reduce #recycle

This year we want to create a sensory garden, so the children can help us plant, take care and water the garden. We really want to children to be very much involved so they will be helping us plant some herbs such as Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, Oregano. Then later in the year planting colourful flowers such as primroses, poppies and wild meadow seeds. We are looking forward to sparking a potential interest in any budding green fingers or horticulturalist out there as well as using the herbs in any cooking on our campfire.

 

We are also in the process of adding a music area with keyboards, drum kit and xylophone! Perhaps we could have our own Woodland Beasties band?! Looking forward to hearing music in the woods.

January is also time for us to update on our qualifications so Sarah and I have refreshed our Outdoor First Aid on a very snowy two days in Telford. We are hoping not to ever put it to use but rest assured that you are in safe hands should you need us.

We are very excited about reopening again in February and can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been up to and looking forward to seeing you all again!

 

Thanks for stopping by,

The Woodland Beasties Team

Snowy December. Happy Christmas and New Year to all!

Well, what a treat we had having actual real snow and lots of it in early December! Being from West Cork it was a novelty to me but for Sarah it was a little home from home for her. We got to build some snowmen and igloo’s and our site looked magical in the snow!

Ellen from WackyWillowCreations came and showed us how to make some beautiful decorations, a lovely session for the little ones to join in on and help make them.

Would you believe that Santa found us again this year in the woods?! We were very excited to see him again and hope that he will find us again next Christmas. We very much enjoyed our Christmas in the Woods with our mulled apple cider (non alcoholic), toasted tea cakes, popping corn and marshmallows!

For our Christmas in the Woods party, we had some delicious brownies made by Beccy at The Red Angel Bakery, a local business in Yoxall. Very, very tasty indeed!

Sarah and Val would like to thank our team members at Woodland Beasties and all those who have helped us in 2017.

We would like to thank all of you for supporting us this fantastic year we have had and here’s to another successful and fun forest school 2018!

 

Thank you for dropping by,

The Woodland Beasties Team

Val, Sarah, Gemma, Ann

What a lovely Autumn we had….

We have had a great Autumn, enjoying the change of seasons and watching the leaves changing colour or falling down so we can kick them up in the air or just fall in them….

Our not so spooky Halloween event was a great success with over 60 people with us to enjoy some campfire hot dog sausages and witches hats! It was magical to see our site lit up with twinkly lights and lanterns! We had some fun Halloween games but mostly it was a chance to be up late and out in the dark playing on our swings and hammocks!

We had our first ever Bonfire Bonanza event too, which was a fantastic turn out with more yummy food cooked over the campfire, s’mores and non alcoholic apple cider. We had glow sticks and made some cool sparkles with tinsel. We will definitely be holding another one next year.

Since then we have been busy at our playgroup sessions with making mini beasts (always a favourite!), planting some bulbs for the spring time and we had Ellen from #Wacky Willow Creations to show us how to make some beautiful decorations all from willow. It was very therapeutic making these stunning decorations.

We are looking forward to winter coming as already we can feel the temperature dropping as we cozy around our fire. We will be making many more Christmas decorations over the coming months before we have a visit from someone very special in December!

 

Thanks for stopping by,

 

The Woodland Beasties Team

Val, Sarah, Gemma, Ann

Autumn is here

It’s that time of the year to start wrapping up and put those coats and boots on and look at the beautiful coloured leaves outside. We have had a great month this collecting beautiful leaves, acorns, pines cones and conkers. We have really enjoyed showing our beasties how to perfect their fine motor skills and thread twine through conkers and beans and make some cool decorations and necklaces.

We have had a lot of fun this month running through the leaves and listening to the noises of the rustling leaves, as there are so  many variations of coloured leaves all around us, we decided to gather some sticks, wool, sticky tape and leaves so we could make a picture frame. Using a technique called lashing we tied sticks together to make a frame, our beasties got stuck in with this skill and loved the repetition of wrapping wool around a stick.

Woodland Sarah did something amazing this month! She swapped her wellies for trainers and took part in the Shine Night Walk for Cancer Research UK, and completed the entire 26.2 miles of the London Marathon route! She had all the support and kind wishes from all the beasties! Well done Sarah.

We finished this month by making super cool mini beasts using conkers, clay and googly eyes. Slugs, snails, beetles and make believe mini beasts took over our table!

We wanted to say a massive thank you for your generous donations for #worldsbiggestcoffeemorning #Macmillan at Denstone and Heart of the Country. We had some campfire toast with honey and jam this year instead of cakes. It is very much appreciated for this worthy cause.

Thanks for stopping by,

 

The Woodland Beasties team

Val, Sarah, Gemma, Ann

 

 

 

 

August where have you gone?

August always comes around too quickly for The Woodland Beasties team. We are well into the run of summer, hopefully with some sun but with August comes a month of mixed emotions. We watch all the older children playing in the woods and letting off some steam and then a sudden realisation that our younger beasties will be leaving us to start big school.

We’ve had a great month of fun of finding mini beasts, some pretty cool den building, beautiful and colourful weaving, funny face photos in our picture frames, chalk handprints and fairy wands! So much going on.

 

All of us at Woodland Beasties would like to thank everyone for a great summer and wish our younger beasties starting school all the best and look forward to hearing all about it!

Thanks for stopping by,

The Woodland Beasties team

Val, Sarah, Gemma, Ann

 

We were at Lichfield Fuse Festival, did you see us?!

July has been a month of mixed emotions. With the hustle and bustle of our playgroups, birthday parties, honoured to be attending Fuse Festival but in the midst of all that we realised that all our older beasties that we’ve spent so much time with over the past year, are now moving on to the big school in September….So we had a little send off for them with some cake. You will be missed, come back and see us during your breaks and holidays!

Lichfield Fuse Festival is a fantastic family free family music festival and it was a beautiful weekend for it. We made some really cool musical instruments so all the children to dance to while listening to the amazing bands at Fuse. We’ll definitely be back again next year!

fusefuse 1Don't forget if you've shown interest in Fuse it is on this weekend! Free and ticketless event. All details on the website ????

Our playgroups were full of colourful creations and sensory walks this month. From a sensory walk consisting of sand, leaves, moss and water to smelling the most amazing fragrances of Rosemary, Lavender and Oregano on our table.

sensory walksensory walk 1

Then we encouraged or development our little beasties fine motor skills but threading wool through leaves using a stick to make some cool things and made some magical hand prints using chalk.

fine mtor skillschalk prints

Of course no session would be complete with a search for mini beasts and just hanging around on trees now would it?!

hanging aroundmini beasts

Remember we are open throughout the summer holidays, we look forward to seeing you!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Val, Sarah, Gemma

Making lemonade, Outdoor Classroom Day and International Mud Week!

Busy busy this month, as the weather warmed up we made lemonade to keep us cool. With Sarah or Val by each child’s side, we taught some outdoor life skills to the little ones. We really enjoyed watching how they listened intently how to use our knife safely to cut lemons. It was also quite funny to watch their little faces when they tasted the lemonade before sugar was added!!

lemonade lemon taste cut lemons

Earlier this month we had such good fun with our activities for  #OutdoorClassroomWeek. Some of the older children knew how to play Noughts & Crosses, beautiful to see them teaching the younger ones. Others made some cool shapes.

Shapes Noughts & Crosses

Our super warm weather wasn’t to last but luckily the weather was rainy for our International Mud Week! Creative hand prints, welly and boot prints, drawings and writing names this last week and of course this all had to begin with jumping in muddy puddles first!

mud week writing in mud

We’ve had a great month and loving have lots and lots of new faces each Forest School session.

Take care for now.

Thanks for dropping by,

Val and Sarah

Easter at Woodland Beasties!

What a busy month this has been….. most of you know and many of you will have met Ann and Gemma by now. We are delighted to announce that both Ann and Gemma have passed their ITC Outdoor First Aid qualification!

Sarah and I are super excited to have these ladies as part of the Woodland Beasties team.

We also had such an amazing week working with a wonderful group of young people on the Get Started for Survival week with the The Princes TrustSafer Communities CIC and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Team Staffordshire.

We had a great group of young people who all really impressed us and rose to every challenge! We couldn’t be prouder of them all! Thankfully we had the weather with us, especially for our sleep out!

Here’s a photo of me conquering one of my fears too!

princes trust 1 princes trust 2

Sarah and I have being doing a little more work on our site again this month. Our site now has a reed fence all around with a gate as you enter one side and our willow arch entrance on the other side. It’s is now looking beautiful with Bluebells!

gate

Finally, we had a fantastic turn out for our Easter Egg hunt. We started with a nature trail, followed by making magic wands, then delving your hand into hay to find your Easter Egg and toasting marshmallows. It really was a great Easter Egg hunt, we can’t wait for next years one already!!

Easter egg

All this going on as well as our playgroups! Come on down one Tuesday or Friday morning and have a look at our site, we’d love to meet you!

Thanks for stopping by,

Val and Sarh

We’re back!

Hello to you all!

Spring is certainly here and we finally we have had some sun and beautiful colours from Crocuses and Daffodils popping up everywhere.
January has been a busy month for Sarah and I planning lots of cool stuff for the year and we have been adding some new stepping stones logs for you to jump on!

We have been in touch with a local farmer and helped them coppice some Hazel trees and learned a new skill of weaving the Hazel rods to build a hazel structure.

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We took part in the Lichfield Pancake race 2017 outside the Guidlhall, it was a tough race and sadly not the winners this time…but we came second. Always next year to try again.

These last few weeks we have been concentrating on forest school skills and showing the little ones how to whittle a willow stick using a sheath knife and peeling a carrot with a peeler. Great to get their focus on the motion of this skill.

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Looking forward to seeing you all in the woods shortly,

Thanks for dropping by,

Woodland Val & Sarah