Last Thursday we were invited to Sherwood Pines, a regular haunt of ours, along with four other Nottingham bloggers – Jen, Penny, Amanda and Becky and their children. Click on their names to read their posts about the day!
We were set to have a day of den building and bushcraft with the Sherwood Pines rangers. This kind of activity is so suited to the boys and we were very excited about what this would entail.
The day started off in the classroom where we met Kev and Emily the rangers who would be working with us for the day. They were very friendly, approachable and importantly knowledgeable about the forest. We learnt that the Sherwood Pines forest is around 100 years old – wow!
The morning was taken up by building a shelter for three forest creatures – a fox, a hedgehog and a badger. The children were responsible for this and came up with some great hideouts, along with a road between them all so they could visit each other! Ingenious! They also gave them some cool names: Harry the Fox, Mickey-Sniffy the Badger (because they couldn’t agree on just one name!) and Spikey and Hedgehog.
The adults build a rather snug little shelter too which involved laying a tree branch across two trees then building the frame by leaning other branches across the top. Waterproofing was provided by bracken and pine leaves. Sherwood Pines organise overnight stays where brave folk build and sleep in their own shelter! I think I would need to be able to rely on a dry day for this.
After a delicious sandwich and cake lunch provided by the onsite cafe (which also does hot meals) and a quick play in Mushroom Village, we were back to work on some bushcraft activities.
Walking through the forest we were all tasked with building our own “Forest Photograph”. This was double sided tape stuck onto a piece of card and you peeled back to expose some “sticky” on which to put any treasures you may find on the walk – seed pods, feathers, leaves, bark etc. It was such a simple idea but really effective.
The next activity was to produce one of the animals that we created a shelter for, using forest finds such as twigs and pinecones. The children set to work gathering up as much as they could to produce this beautiful picture of Harry and Fox. They even wrote his name underneath!
On their way back to the classroom, the children also made “boggats” using air drying clay, sticks and bark and their own vivid imaginations.
The day was rounded off with a craft activity building a pencil holder of a deer, a squirrel or a woodpecker. They particularly loved using a real hammer (under the watchful eye of the rangers) to fasten the pieces together!
Time just flew on this fun filled day and everyone had a really good time, particularly the children who all returned home with rosy cheeks and happy smiles. I am sure they all slept soundly that night, as I sure did!
Thank you to Liz for organizing and to everyone at Sherwood Pines for their help and expertise.
The forest is the perfect place to have good, simple fun and is ideal for all ages. If you would like to read more about the goings on at Sherwood Pines you can like their Facebook page where there are also some more photographs of our day!
Also linking up with The Gallery, where this week’s theme is Youth.