Friday, 7 October 2011

Nature Nursery

(Goblin is 23 months)
Today Goblin and I went to Nature Nursery. A friend of mine organises it at her friend's Biodynamic farm. There are a group of parents and toddlers that come once a fortnight and enjoy outdoor activities. It's like forest school for toddlers. 
Today we started Nature Nursery with a trip to feed the sheep. Goblin loves sheep, he's completely fearless even though they are the same size as him. 
Some of the sheep on the farm are quite feisty. This is Florence trying to get her head in the food bucket (below). Contrary to everything I have heard about farmers not naming the animals they are going to eventually slaughter, all the sheep on this farm have names. Miss M, one of the older toddlers at 3 years old, even remembered some of the names from our last visit. 
There aren't many places where you can get up close and personal with a whole herd of sheep and feed them from your hands.  
The sheep's fleece is really soft and bouncy and Goblin loves patting them. The farm sell the sheep's wool in the natural black and grey colours. Its really beautiful. You can see some of the balls of wool on the windowsill in this photo of Miss M. 
After feeding the sheep we collected blackberries from around the farm. The kids took buckets and a little plastic wheel barrow to collect them, but most of them went straight in their mouths. Its great that they were all so happy to gobble the berries straight off the bushes. But we did manage to save a few for our art project. 
 We pushed the blackberries through a sieve and poured the juice into a couple of plastic pots. Then the kids used their fingers and hands to paint with the juice. It was surprising how few berries you need to do this.  
Even Goblin happily sat and painted rather than running off to do his own thing. I think it helped that he discovered how delicious the paint was.
 Elfin used it as face-paint too. They made some lovely individual paintings. 
And we made a team effort. We collected some leaves from the wood and stuck them onto the paper to make an Autumn collage. I showed Miss M how to get a leaf, rub the back of it in the juice and then print the leaf pattern onto the paper. 
 The finished article looks great. We're hoping it will decorate the school room at the farm. 
 While the mums tidied up and had a coffee, the kids explored. Goblin and his friend Elfin (who looks like a female clone of Goblin - although not so much now she has had her haircut) found a big pile of mud and happily sat digging in it for about 15 minutes. 
Waterboatman, the farmer, took the kids over to the polytunnels to pick tomatoes and potatoes. More opportunities to grub around in the mud, Goblin was in heaven. 
Nature Nursery has everything Goblin loves, space to run, animals to play with and dirt to throw. And he really enjoys being with the other kids. I love it too because, like Goblin, I love being outside, but also because after a morning at the farm Goblin usually naps really well. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a lot of fun, and delicious too. When we go berry picking, very few berries ever make it home with us!

    ReplyDelete

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