Friday 8 December 2017

#CountryKids Using our senses to find signs of Winter #ForestSchool

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It was quite a relief that the snow flurries last night didn't cause me any problem getting to work this morning or stop us having Forest School! There was plenty of snow on the mountains that we can see from the school grounds though:

As it was bitterly cold we had to be both well wrapped up and active whilst outside. So I explained our mission inside before we even went out into our forest area. We were going to use four of our senses to find signs of winter:
  • hearing
  • seeing
  • touching 
  • smelling

We omitted taste for obvious reasons!

The first thing we noticed was that the birds had eaten most of the food we had left out the previous week. We had to collect in the pipe cleaners to make more to put out next week.

The children sat quietly for a short while so that we could see if we could hear anything... There was very little bird song and mostly just the sound of the wind! Then the children set off to use their senses to find something for all four:


The youngest children had to climb trees to see the snow on the mountains high up and far away. They could also see that the leaves had fallen off the trees.


As well as the wind they heard the sound of leaves crunching.


For a brief time they took off their gloves to feel things. Most of which were very cold or even freezing.


There wasn't much to smell, although one local farmer had obviously fertilised his field! With a lot of snotty noses it probably wasn't the easiest sense to use..

We then took a tub of fallen leaves into school for a project to be done after lunch.

As part of looking at Winter we had talked about hibernation. So we helped some hedgehogs to hibernate by covering them in leaves to keep them warm:

The children really enjoyed ensuring that the hedgehogs were well covered. They also loved threading the last of the cereal onto the pipe cleaners to boost the food supply.

I am looking forward to more forest adventures in the New Year as next week end of term activities will prevent us from getting out and about. My forest leader course also starts this Sunday so I hope that I can get a lot more ideas to use with my class in 2018.


  1. Coombe Mill (Fiona)9 December 2017 at 09:51

    What a great activity for your son, it's great that he's been inspired to try something new. I love that he directed your videoing, he's clearly really into the idea of making films. Fell running always looks like such a fun activity, it's great to see your son taking it so seriously.

    Thanks for sharing the fun with me on #CountryKids.

  2. Coombe Mill (Fiona)9 December 2017 at 10:09

    What a fab activity to enjoy, sensory activities are always such a big hit with littlies. I bet spotting the snow up on the mountains got them all excited and wishing for a bit more snow closer to home. It's wonderful you've encouraged tree climbing too, it's a great activity for kids to enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids.

  3. What a great idea to use your senses to see how the landscape changes. Seeing is obvious but I wouldn't have thought about using the other senses in isolation to understand the changes #countrykids

  4. Emma Chanagasubbay12 December 2017 at 10:08

    This is such a great video! Fell running is serious business so you must be very proud of him. #countrykids

  5. Emma Chanagasubbay12 December 2017 at 10:10

    This is such a great way to allow the children to be drawn to using their senses.
    I will be steeling the hedgehog idea as he is super cute! #countrykids

  6. Very! Glad my kids have talents I can be proud of

  7. I am loving getting them to investigate the outdoors

  8. This is a such a good thing to do and a wonderful video too! Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  9. I love how the children used all the different senses to find signs of winter. The hedgehog picture is such a fun idea :-) #countrykids

  10. Oh wow I had not heard about this before watching your sons video. I am sure you will make many others. I am just getting into youtube myself good luck :) #CountryKids

  11. This is really clever, I can't wait until my youngest is old enough for forest nursery. Monkey is really disappointed that we haven't had any snow yet! I am hoping it will come back its on his Christmas list! #CountryKids

  12. I absolutely love this idea! We went on a Bushcraft course that taught how you could use the senses to help with so many things. I think my boys would love to do this. #Countrykids

  13. OMG wow what a runner. I can appreciate those hills even more as a runner who hates them! #Countrykids

  14. they have been learning about their senses with the previous teacher so I built on that

  15. its just so simple and they learn so much

  16. Annette, Four Acorns14 December 2017 at 11:48

    Oh you're going to do the forest school leader training, fantastic! I'm sure you'll get TONS of ideas for your forest school sessions.

  17. We'd love to go to forest school and its amazing what you can learn in the great outdoors. Good luck with the course x #CountryKids


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