I'm going to shock a lot of people. I actually turned my mobile phone off today and left it in my bag in a minibus. It actually isn't surgically attached to the end of my arm, surprise surprise. Today was the Imp's first trip to the Lincolnshire Forest School with her nursery, and they make the first session one that the parents attend so we can have an basic idea of what they will be doing during their eight weeks of attendance starting in September. I'm so grateful for her to be able to have to opportunity, because I worry about her missing out on some of the experiences that I had while growing up...I loved camping and traipsing through the woods but I now don't have as much opportunity to do it, and I know that it will be different here in the UK than it was growing up in the US. But the whole concept of Forest School...well, wow, I would have killed for the opportunity to be able to do what she will be do at 3 1/2.
She wasn't scared or nervous in the slightest. You would have thought that she belonged there in the woods. They had simple games aimed at their age...searching the ground for 'treasures' to add to a forest crown (a band of green card with a strip of carpet tape that they could stick their 'treasures' to), playing Hide and Seek, and building fairy houses (the Imp wasn't interested in that, actually). They were also given a lot of time to explore and play to their own whim. The Imp has developed my tendency to wander off (they're going to love that with me not there :P ), and she had no interest in what the others in the group were doing. A lot of them started off quite nervous and wanting to stick by mum. Not the Imp. She marched off without looking back, looking for more 'treasures'. Her best find was the newly-ripened blackberries that were scattered everywhere. She went through every bramble in the area to have a munch. And the first few brambles she stopped to have a chat to them, and I heard her thank one of them after she put a fat berry into her mouth. That's my girl...I'm so proud of her thanking the forest spirits for her treats. She was definitely a girl on a mission for the entire time.
I think that part of the reason why she wasn't really interested in sticking with the group is because the other girls were a bit older (going off to school in a month. The Imp doesn't go for another year), and the boys were a bit younger, so not in her preferred social circle. The other reason is that she has a mind very similar to mine, and she spends a lot of time in her own little world. My auntie used to regularly call me a 'space cadet', and I fully admit that I still am.
But the man that was running the session I think was highly impressed with her. I think he was shocked that she had so much confidence on arrival. But when he asked if any of the kids had spent any time in the woods yet, I was the only one that had raised my hand. The woods behind us are only small, but we do walk through their regularly. We might wander back tomorrow, in fact, to see if we can find enough blackberries to make a pie or crumble. Going back to my last post on Family Chores, I've always encouraged her to have a lot of independence and she's really good at exploration.
The Imp had an amazing time today, and so did I. It was amazing watching her stomp through the woods like she owned them, and finding her amazing 'treasures'. Granted, if you ask her what she did today, all you'll get is an excited 'I got to see Sara!'. Sara is her favourite nursery teacher, and she's not been there since the middle of July, when they had their end of term party.
I'm looking forward to her having more sessions. It's a shame that I won't be joining her, but I look forward to her telling me all about it. I do wish that I had photos of today, but I thought that it would be a good idea to leave my mobile in the mini bus. Part of it was because it was raining off and on, and I've already lost a phone to 'damp damage'. The other part is because I would have likely tripped over trying to snap her every movement when I needed to be able to experience this with her, full on.