Babes in the Woods 3.48

February 17th, 2014 by Alan Scully

Owing to the terrible weather, only one session ran this week.

What a lovely story of Billy goats tramping across the bridge to get to… the big pile of straw. And how challenging to balance and walk along the bridge. Breaking and remaking. Reinforcing the need for more loose parts play in our sessions (once we get access to our land)

Of course babies drinking hot chocolate is quite entertaining too.

Babes in the Wood 3.46 and 3.47

February 17th, 2014 by Alan Scully

If you can measure your worth by the people around you who come together to help when times are hard then I am indeed a lucky person to have such good and caring friends.

Our Thursday volunteer Chris Tuckey, took over this week’s sessions and allowed me to attend without the pressure of planning and delivery.

Thank you to her and the Babes in the Wood Community Group steering committee who conspired to keep the sessions running this week.

For my part, I got to take part as an attendee and enjoy the story of Walters broom complete with rhyme. This will definitely be going into the Babes in the Wood playbook.

Babes in the Wood 3.23 and 3.24

February 17th, 2014 by Alan Scully

After forty days and forty nights of rain it became apparent that we were soon going to lose some of the smaller children in the quagmire that was our fire circle.

After much negotiating with a farmer, his friend, another farmer (with  bad leg) we managed to arrange a delivery of twenty four bales of hay… to my house. How nice to smell the sweet smell of Summer as I squeezed past my haystack each day. Alas the straw had to go. After further negotiating with a man with a van we got the straw on site and spread some of it out in an attempt to stem the mud.

The rest, of course, went on making a house of straw for the lt. Three little pig story.

To be fair, one does not really need a story or an activity when there is straw on site, the children just get on with it.

Now where did I put my needle?


Babes in the wood 41, 42, 43

February 17th, 2014 by Alan Scully

Anansi the spider man was in the woods for three sessions in the middle of January. With Brother Turtle taking a walk, it meant that I had to be up extra early to cook the yams.

Despite the bright orangeness of the potato most of the children tucked in to the feast. Apart from one boy (who shall remain nameless) who ran away and hid behind a tree shouting “No, no, no…” now that is what I call a food intolerance.

Though I was prepared for spider making with twigs and string, everyone wanted a turtle! Go figure!

Missing from my photos are images from the Saturday session where my daughters arm can clearly be seen in every shot helping herself to sweet potato, then licking the foil wrapper.

Babes in the Wood 3.29-3.30

January 15th, 2014 by Alan Scully

What a Happy start to the New Year.

Coming back to work after a holiday can always be a bit disappointing… unless your work is in the woods and is more akin to play.

With this group naturally just getting on with things I took the mountain to Mohammed and went to where the children were busy playing to talk about keeping safe. The building a house with sticks was the perfect opportunity for children to demonstrate how to keep safe with sticks, then stones, and mud and horse pooh.

Inspired by a new addition to my family who looks a bit like a fox (is a dog, not a child) we had the “How bear lost his tail” story. A nice and gentle introduction to the New Year. We made genuine dog fish out of dog wood, bright red and shiny with some very attractive fish shapes. In the absence of any quality herbage to fashion the bears tail, I made a rather bushy one out of birch twigs.

Very fetching when hanging from the back of the trousers.

It may even catch on!

Babes in the Wood 3.34 – 3.38

January 9th, 2014 by Alan Scully

It seems that I have once again been a bit lax with blog updates with many of the pre-Christmas sessions having no postings. Looking at the pictures there was lots of robins, reindeer, Christmas faeries (angels), rolling in the mud, rolling on a pretend fire, splashing in mud, poking mud with a stick, eating mud, in fact lots of mud. In and amongst the mud was lots of fun and happiness.

The children seemed to have a good time too.

Christmas…it’s not for the kiddies!

Babes in the Woods 3.33

December 3rd, 2013 by Alan Scully

The first of this years Christmas activity sessions was in fact in November. Not too early as we were making advent calendars out of wooden wedges split from logs.

The story took its inspiration from the Elves and the Shoemaker-ish with a rather free-form ending.

Z helped out with a bit of drumming half way through the story which was a making story they we all did a bit of sticking and glueing in the woods.

In response to the waiting list for the morning sessions, I upped the numbers again to 21 attendees. Both Chris and I found an immediate difference in the tempo of the session but with Christmas approaching, there is always a bit of room for over excitement and up tempo woodland jinx.

Babes in the Wood 3.30 – 3.32

December 3rd, 2013 by Alan Scully

There is always a vague sense of unease that I am not making the most of the beautiful Autumn leaves. By the time I get round to it they seem to have turned a muddy brown colour.

Determined to make use of the seasonal resource bounty I started planning for this session with Autumn leaves in mind. At some point I got the Wiggly Woo worm song in my head and it all degenerated into a version of the hungry caterpillar crossed with taking the log dog for a walk but in worm form.

Children knew that they could charm worms by stamping and banging on the ground and by the end of the sessions they all had an appreciation of how one might feed a worm with muddy brown leaves threaded on bits of string with “magic” pipe cleaner needles.

Two attendees on the last Spoon carving course brought their spoons along too which was great to see.

Babes in the Wood 3.27 – 3.29

December 3rd, 2013 by Alan Scully

One of the downsides, or possibly the upsides of falling behind with blog postings is that one can’t quite remember what went on in a particular session on a particular day.

Looking at the pictures from there three sessions it is clear to me that there was much blowing of bird whistles. Judging by the calm and unruffled expression on my face, I enjoyed the cacophony of the bird chorus immensely.

One of the days must have been cold as the tipi came out to play and I do remember passing lunch time sitting by a small and smoky fire with boots off, warming my feet.

There seems to have been a trip to the river at some point to throw stones a muddy Tolouse Lautrec impression and a game of cook the piggy on the fire.

(I would like to point out that “Cook the piggy on the fire” is a game invented and initiated by the children. No actual pigs were put on any actual fires.)

Babes in the Wood 3.24 – 3.26

November 12th, 2013 by Alan Scully

This weeks Babes in the Woods sessions were a take on Pinocchio but in dog form.

The child who so wants a dog, looks at pictures of dogs, watches dogs on TV and can only hope that one day the parents will relent and add a puppy to the family.

While at the park watching other children playing with their dogs, he spies something that with a little bit of work and a sprinkle of imagination becomes his own pet.

Log dog.

Log dog can follow on a leash and never pulls away.

The child and Log dog can run for a stick.

Log dog meets other logs, unsure at first he sniffs… both ends and makes friends.

Log dog drinks from puddles then leaves a mess of Log dog, dog log wood shavings to be cleared up and put into a bag.

At night Log dog sleeps on an old jumper in a cardboard box then one morning the child is greeted by a shiny wet nose, two sparkling eyes and a big slobbery tongue. Log dog has turned into a real puppy.*

*This story based on actual real life events