Tiny Acorns Goes Wild!

Welcome back folks. Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve been super busy with a new baby, planning, supply teaching and (more importantly after all that) sleeping.

I tell you what, this current block of Tiny Acorns has gone off! Our numbers have gone through the roof so much that I’ve actually had to turn people away and start booking up the next block. It’s absolutely mental, I tell you.

It is fantastic, though. The kids absolutely love it and, with the extended timing, we’ve got so much more scope to explore and get involved in more in depth activities.

What have we done so far?

We’ve explored the dark and wild places!

 

We built fairy houses

We painted sham-rocks for our Saint Patrick’s day special

We’ve made magic wands

And, of course, we’ve had banana cake and milk to keep us going.

 But even better than all that, we’ve a new piece of kit that joins us on all our sessions. Say hello to the portable fire pit.

With this we can toast marshmallows, make popcorn and even rustle up a nice cup of hot chocolate (some day soon)

It doesn’t taste too bad either.

If you’d like to get on to our next run of Tiny Acorns, why not drop us a message? The next six week block will begin on April 29th and will cost £36 per child.

Hurry, though, spaces are filling up fast.

(If there is enough interest, I will start a second group on another day of the week.)

Super-duper bird feeders

We had greatly reduced numbers this week, due to some illness and other unavoidable circumstances, but we didn’t let that stop us.

We had an absolutely fab time making really simple, yet effective, feeders to help our little feathered friends get through the rest of this winter.

Step 1:

Gather some sticks about the length of an adult hand.

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Step 2:

Add bird seed, grated cheese and, lard or baking fat to a bowl.

Step 3: Get your hands right in there and mash it all up.

Step 4: Take a handful and mash it on to the end of a stick. Repeat until you have a big blob.

Step 5: Use a larks-head knot to tie a piece of string to the stick and close the loop with a simple over-hand knot.

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Step 6: Find somewhere to hang your super-duper bird feeder.

Step 7: Congratulate yourself with a story, cake, and a cup of milk.

Remember, although it looks like a delicious lolly (and you’ll come to no harm from eating it), the mix is meant for birds.

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And there we have it. We have two weeks left of this block and the next block, starting on March 11th, is filling up fast. If you’d like to get your young’un involved, why not drop us a message  and we’ll get you signed up.

Until next time…

Natural Painting

We had another really lovely session this week. I thought we’d branch out and try something new with our crafty bits by making some natural paints and brushes.

After a little round of hide and seek, I told the children we were going to be doing some painting but we didn’t have any brushes. This was great because it sparked their imagination. After the initial groan of disappointment at having nothing to paint with, they all started thinking about what we could use as brushes and even had the confidence to start throwing out suggestions: leaves, feathers, ferns, sticks.

The next step was making the paint. For this we used turmeric, mud, and the seeds of a  pomegranate that had gone past its best. They loved smashing the pomegranate seeds with a cup…

and then really enjoyed experimenting to make pictures with their made brushes and paints.

 

We rounded the whole thing off with the obligatory story and cake.

 

If you have a child aged between 2 and 5 and think that they’d absolutely love to get out into the woods to be silly and get messy, why not drop me a line and we’ll get you booked up for our next run starting on March 11th.

Halloween fun!

Well, what a first run we’ve had! I can’t believe it’s flown by so quickly.

This week was our sixth session and, by way of celebration, we made it a super-duper Halloween special, with all the kids (and some of the adults) dressed for the occasion. I know it’s still a week until Halloween, but, we’re not there next week. We had to bring it forward a bit.

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As it was Halloween, I got to read one of my favourites: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. (Did I mention how brilliant I think she is?) So, after a bit of a spooky run-around, playing hide and seek, we settled down to read the book. Everyone (adults included) was completely transfixed, as they tend to be when I pull out one of the many great books from JD’s back catalogue.

The main attraction, this week, was the pumpkin fun.

The children were supplied with half a pumpkin each, some lengths of bamboo, safety gloves, and access to sticks and hammers and permanent pens. (to  get the sticks in and draw eyes respectively)

This was a wonderful activity that gave the little’uns a really great opportunity to work on their fine motor skills whilst managing the risk of using something heavy to batter a small stick into something else. There was a bit of a safety talk on the importance of wearing a glove on the hand holding the stick. Many would think, “Sure, they’re only two or three years old. They’re not paying any attention.” Well, They all put their glove on. One child even told his adult off for not wearing a glove when she was holding his stick for whilst he hit it.

You’d be hard pressed to find any clearer evidence of the real benefits to allowing children, even as young as this, the opportunity to take part in “risky” activities. These children have learned responsibility, resilience, co-operation, collaboration and their imaginations have run absolutely wild in just six short weeks.

 

 

 

After the pumpkins came milk and home-made banana cake, followed by a bit of free play time. This time, with no input from the adults present, there were children drawing on trees with chalk, children heading off in search of tigers and others playing hide and seek together. It was a delight to see and further testament to the benefit that spending time in this group has brought to their confidence, self-esteem and social interaction.

 

 

As I said, we have now come to the end of this bloc of six sessions. We will, however, be returning on November 5th for the next run, which will take up up to the Christmas break.

Due to the success of this initial run, and to bring greater certainty to my planning and resourcing, this block will require pre-booking, with an upper limit of 14 children or 10 accompanying adults, whichever is the least.

The cost of this will be £24 for one child or £42 for two children.

To book on, please drop me a message and we’ll get you and your little one(s) signed up.

Hurry though, spaces are limited and I’d hate for you to miss out.

See you there.

 

Tigers and Dragonflies

We had another superb Tiny Acorns session this week. It was only the third week with this group and I can already see a marked difference in the group as a whole. The children are growing together as a group. They are working together, swiftly becoming good friends who care for and consider each other. They are also growing in confidence every week, each becoming more willing and able to explore and experiment with our woodland area.

Interestingly, this gelling and confidence seems to bubble over and affect anyone who comes along to the group for their first time. It’s as if it’s infectious.

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This week’s book was There’s a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart. It’s a beautiful story about using our imagination to explore the world around us, no matter how mundane we may think that environment may be, and is a firm favourite in our household.

The children then collected leaves of lots of different shapes and sizes to use for rubbings with lots of different coloured chalks. The results were beautiful and, after tearing around these, we tied them onto sticks with coloured yarn to make dragonflies the size of birds.

Chalk rubbings

Chalk rubbings.

It was a lovely task that was enjoyed by children and adults alike.

If you have a toddler, or know a toddler that would love to come along to Tiny Acorns, we still have a few spaces left on the scheme so, why not drop us a message and get signed up.