The Minpins are tiny people who live in the woods. They are friendly folk but live in constant fear of the Gruncher….
Little Billy is walking through the forest when he hears something coming after him, and runs to escape it. As he looks back, he sees puffs of orange-red smoke catching up with him. He escapes what he is sure must be the Spittler by climbing up a tree as high and as fast as he can. When he comes to a rest, he notices windows opening all over the branches, and discovers a whole city of little people, the Minpins, living inside the tree. The leader of the Minpins, Don Mini, tells Little Billy that the monster waiting under the tree is not the Spittler (which the Minpins have never heard of), but the Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher, who grunches up everything in the forest
As we stalked into the woods, I made sure the children crept slowly, commando crawling, hiding, creeping, crouching and whispering. I asked them to step very carefully so not to squash anything or anyone, they absolutely loved following me, copying my actions, and then as we entered into the woods, knocking three times on the scared tree, we came upon a tiny, broken down Minpin shelter, the remains of a rope ladder hanging from the tree, the tiny washing line with mini pegs still blowing in the breeze….
The children were captivated as I told them the terrible tale of the Gruncher, destroying the Minpin village, and one of the children, who had heard of the Minpins before helped me to re tell the tale.
I asked the children what they thought we could do to help the Minpins?
“Build them new homes!”, “new places to live….with protection! “Build a school!”, “Build a playground!”…… and so we did….
The children adored the excitment of the crawling into the woods, they completely embraced the task of mini shelter building, and created wonderful Minpin shelters and playgrounds. Someone mentioned bows and arrows for protection, so I will carry this into another session.
We finished the session with a bit of evaluation/reflection and chose trees one being 0-Rubbish, another being 10-Fantastic…
I asked random questions, how much did they like the story? the hot chocolate? then the kids asked questions, all the children answered by running up to the ten tree, enjoying running about and for an awesome finish, as I asked the last question, how do they like forest school sessions? the kids kept running….past number ten, completely unprompted…to a far tree, and said to me…”This is 20!”….what a compliment.
“Man is almost nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” – Herodotus, Greek historian.