A local beaver group has been involved in the Museum’s first forest school. Sessions being led by Education Officer Rachel Gentle have introduced children to the delights of spending time in the great outdoors of the Hednesford Hills. Activities have included teaching members how to identify some of our more common plant species and finding their special tree. They have made clay tree guardians, mud pie hedgehogs, leaf sun catchers and played conkers. One of the most enjoyable activities, however has been being taught to light a fire for themselves. Participants have been shown the steps to go about how to light a successful fire together with a discussion on the safe practices.
Forest Schools are a European initiative to get children to engage with their natural surroundings. It encourages participants to take control of their own learning. Research has shown that children grown in confidence individually and helps with team building. Spending time outside is also beneficial for the child’s health, having an impact on their emotional and mental wellbeing.
In the sessions, the children were introduced to the campfire Kelly Kettle a wonderful gadget to use for making a hot drink while outdoors, and enjoyed their hot chocolate. This week the beavers progressed to preparing and lighting their campfire and after enjoyed eating their own toasted marshmallow.
These sessions are being run as a taster for the forest sessions that the Museum hope to run in the future for budding young bush crafters.