So, were all set for the school trip, 60 kids ready to go and excited as can be,
Oh, the bus is nearly an hour late, spirits are still high, we will still get there in time, (except now everyone needs a wee again!).
Bus arrives…..looks a bit suspect, let’s say, “tired”!
and then its decided, (when weve gone 500 yds uphill at 2mph), the bus really may not be up to the job!
The call is made to abandon the trip…(I should add here much to the distress and disappointment of the teacher, who with tears in her eyes told 60 children), a moving moment, a tough decision, but keeping the children safe is her priority…lets not get stuck on a hard shoulder of the motorway between here and Doncaster with 60 children, that would not be good.
Bus turns round, back to school…what to do?
I said if they want I can have a little think, would the teachers like me to go “get my gear?”, (which is funny now that i think about it, say it quite a lot and I’ve turned into this weird, (er!), bag lady, that arrives at school with rucksacs and shopping bags full of stuff!!)
I take it most places nowadays, because its all we need! I have tarps, ropes, scissors, string, box of pens, box of assorted beads, tape, secateurs and gloves, thats it! But everywhere we go it seems to come in handy!
So I’m thinking, hmmmm, 60 kids (!) but lots of support staff! what the heck can we do that so many can enjoy?
What have they been thinking about?
We were supposed to be going to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park…..what would they have been excited about seeing?
The children had been enthusiastically telling me about what animals they hoped to see or had seen, so could we use that……wild stick creatures???? I’m thinking Wilderbeast, Tigers, Giraffes….?!
I had some pics in my trusty stick book….(I can highly recommend!)
All we need is clay, (enough for a small ball each!) We are really lucky to have amazing school grounds so all the other resources we need are there.
I went home and got “my gear!”, quickly pinched our mud kitchen things!
(Maybe some of you don’t know I have a mud kitchen in the garden which I built for the kids a couple of years ago), we adore it and come rain or shine, winter or summer the mud kitchen is used and enjoyed! It’s loved by kids of all ages, I think the bigger ones just find more creative ways of using it and bake even more elaborate cakes and pies, soups and stews!
I was thinking of using a pop up mud kitchen later in the week with my Forest school group in y3/4 to see what they create, so two birds!
There is a log seating area at school, so i chucked a couple of old planks into the boot, to make work tops and we are sorted!
I had a quick talk with the kids, they were going to be running about in the woods, I gave them some boundaries, then got them to tell me what they need to be careful of, nettles, brambles, why?
The list goes on until we’ve covered it all! (I love them to tell me these things, get them to ID the plants, and i always, without fail get some random answers!), today’s random answer….Poisonous frogs…yes, watch out for them! definately dont touch them, and only look with your eyes!
Something I’ve started doing on my safety talks is saying the children need to use their brains! (which may sound daft, but its true!), developing common sense, self awareness, spatial awareness, look where you are putting your feet, think about how you climb the trees, what’s underneath? what could you fall onto? its all complicated stuff when you’re 6 (or more or less, even!), but I really big it up, tell them they are in charge of themselves, they need to be careful and really use their brains to think about what they are doing and it works.
We have only had one minor nettle sting in all the sessions and the boy who did it told me he hid in the bushes and didn’t see them, but in general the kids are amazinly good at self regulating and using their brains!
The kids got stuck in, I said, if they want to, they can make a creature, if they want to make something else, they can, and if they want to make a home for their animal in the woods, they can, or if they prefer they can play in the mud kitchen, maybe they would like to make their animal some food? or better still…make me some food?!
We had a great time, with some awesome creations, including a couple of trolls, hedgehogs and some very scary monsters. Everyone walked to the park for a picnic lunch, followed by Zombie Tig and parachute games!
The sun shone, I don’t think anyone even thought about the trip they missed! We took some very tired children back to school and the trip was rearranged for the following week! Awesome 👍🏻😊