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Chestnut class’ week got off to a bit of a wet beginning as there was quite persistent drizzle ready to welcome us to the valley. Needless to say though, the children were not phased by this soggy start and we carried the kit up in good time and set about our tasks.
With the weather potentially getting worse we made sure to get the large shelter up as quickly as possible. A short chat about its shape and where the corners would need to be led to the tarp starting its upward journey. With a little support to get the rope over the higher boughs we managed to get it up and give ourselves a dry working space and area for the fire out of the rain.
The council had kindly worked hard over the last few days to get some brand new chippings down to protect the ground and to help decrease the build up of mud around the area of the valley that we use. There has been quite a positive dialogue built up over recent months and they are very keen for Laira Green to get as much fun out of Efford Valley as they can.
The children helped to search for wood for a fire in order to boil the kettle and provide warm water for a warming drink. The emphasis was on thin sticks and, wherever possible, dry ones. After the unfortunate discovery of the lack of cotton wool and the need to substitute for paper towels, a fire was lit and was soon burning brightly.
The children were tasked with working together in small groups to build the best shelter they could which would cover them all. There was a flurry of activity around the valley as the children used tarps, ropes and a healthy dose of twine to get their shelters together. With a little support and fair amount of perseverance there were soon four fine shelters to behold! These were then decorated with pine cones, branches, seats made of logs and faux fire circles.
After the excellent efforts of shelter building the children had the opportunity to use the rope swing that we had put up. Great fun!
A warm drink and a snack finished off the session with plenty of smiles from the children; muddy hands and knees showing the effort and passion they had put in.
I look forward to next week, hopefully bringing lots of cotton wool with me!
Until next time,