The start of the Summer term (or the coming of the Spring weather, which ever comes first) always comes as a bit of a shock to the regular Forest Tots crew. For months on end it is just us and the stream and the mud. Quiet. Still. Safe even, in that familiar, same as always, sort of way.
And then the start of the Great British Summer arrives.....
....And suddenly the group changes dynamic. New families and old faces not seen for many (cold wet) months emerge into the woods. It's good, it's what we are here for. We started the group to get people out, and they come in their hordes (so long as the weather is OK!). But it is also manic, faster, busier than those quiet still months of winter.
But that slightly crazier than normal feeling is more that offset by the joy of seeing new children discover and explore the woods. I was heartened and encouraged today to see so many very tiny toddlers fall into the stream....and cope - they just got themselves back up and carried on! The new faces at the mud kitchen making magic medicines and mud pies. New toddlers exploring the peeping holes in the roundhouse. Yes, despite that slightly dizzying feeling of the summer invasion....this is what we are here for!
During the build of the roundhouse we had to remove some overhanging branches. This one we saved as it makes the most perfect natural water pipe!
This 4 year old walked down to the stream to collect water to clean her feet. Then once they were clean walked down their barefoot to collect more.....so that she could start all over again!
Taking it in turns to balance around the roundhouse
My biggest hope is that at least some of the new faces become regular-all-year-even-in-the-cold-and-wet kind of friends!
But first of all....here to the start of the Summer!