To help me qualify as a Forest Schools Leader, I’m currently running six practical Forest School sessions with the children from a local Primary school. The sessions aim to provide a variety of learning experiences, including outdoor arts and crafts. This week, the activity was to combine woodland crafts with an introduction to the use of tools.
To achieve this, we made individual Forest Schools medals!
To start the medals off, I cut small discs of wood using a bow saw before the session, and the children would use a gimlet (which is a type of hand-held device) to make a hole at the top for the string to be threaded through. This helps to introduce tool use in gradual and manageable steps.
Making sure we wore gloves and that we worked on a secure surface, the children couldn’t believe that such a small tool would go through the wood to make a hole. First, we marked the area with a cross. Then by pushing down and twisting at the same time, we created a cork screw effect and the hole started to appear.
With very little effort and determination the children were able to twist all the way through. They were amazed and really very happy when they had made a neat hole all the way through the piece of wood.
Next came the drawing and design of their own medals. Each would be totally special and uniquely individual.
When we added the string, a brilliant and very individual wood craft medal was created by each child to take home in celebration of their day’s woodland activities!
This was an activity that took only 30 minutes, but seeing all the children going back to school in the mini bus, each proudly showing off their medals hanging from their necks really was a lovely, happy and satisfying sight.
A very simple but effective teaching-activity and, of course, I had to make one as well!
And here it is!!