Five years of children will remember their Nature Discoveries on the infamous Rotten Log! We have been revisiting this favourite site with the children recently but this often water immersed area and the old willow log has been almost fully reclaimed and recycled by nature after so much playing, sawing and investigating.
Today it was to be a butterfly train with Judy as a passenger in not -too-serious playwork led by Karmen, Bella, Delta, Zōe and Charli.
Another nearby Willow tree has had some broken deadwood branches hung up for a while that have caused the kaiako some consternation so on an accidental MUM FREE MONDAY MORNING this week three dads, two teachers and 12 children engaged their efforts to release the dead wood:
Heaving and pulling to Sam's waka shifting chants the combined efforts were no match for the branches, which really were as loose as Tracey correctly identified: CRASH!
The second and third timbers required the sling to tighten before splitting and falling, much to the delight for the children who really mastered their own safe surrounds.
We then lay a blue ribboned track for the Wednesday's Women-led team to follow: "We made a bendy circle track" said a delighted Lucas to Sam when Sam described between laughs that we were "ending just where we started":
Zōe wondered aloud if Mrs Shaw would like the twiggy squeeze and/or the muddy crawl...I think she would!
It is wonderful for the children to realize they can leave positive marks on the park for their other Kindergarten friends to find their enjoyment to then later link the learning when talking back at the Kindergarten. We will take down the blue flagging tape on a later visit this year, but it is still there now to be enjoyed if you want to be led by your child and see the park from their perspective on a different day.
Lucas' Dad Chris happily remembers how "many families used to picnic in the park" when he was a child - Charlotte's Dad Dean remembers planting the trees "which now almost reach the helicopters!" and mowing the park as a young Lands & Survey Ranger: it used to take him three days!