On Monday this week, it was great to be school with Michelle and Francis to install the new turf floor and put up the tent frame construction. We cleared space in the assembly hall area, pulled up the blinds and let in the light! Using pale green plastic sheeting over the windows diffused the light, and made a tranquil oasis of calm. Amazing how, as staff passed through the space, they commented on the light, and how big the room suddenly seemed. Comparisons to us going camping indoors were of course taken with great humour! Made a sign saying ''Please Play on the Grass'' , to ensure full advantage would be taken by all children and staff to feel and experience the new turf rather than feel they werent allowed.

On Wednesday, myself and Francis brought in many different real leaves and created many different shaped material leaves with the children, using tactile textures, rough, soft, smooth. Working with Blue Gum class for the first session Dawn loved the smell of the Verbena leaves, the music and the feel of the fabric vines, Francis had constructed to fix leaves too. We should use more herbs and good smelling leaves in future, very effective with stimulating the sense of smell.I worked one to one with Joel, who was transfixed looking through my mobile phone view finder at the leaves and his ALD display. It was great to communicate with him through this method, and Icould see the amazing possibilities of todays technology to provide communication applications in a mobilephone for children like Joel to communicate. He also really liked to touch all the different textures of materials. Robbie  came in late to the session but then very enthusiastically made his leaves.
In Banksia's class,it took time for Alex to engage but then he chose lots of shiny materials to stick on his leaf, Samuel wasnt really in the mood for tactile sensory work but he stuck his choices of textures on a leaf. It was interesting how they worked on easels, and we had to make some adjustments so they could press down on the material and glue.They all really enjoyed it, when Donkey puppet came and tried to eat their leaves!
We used the animal chorus music in the session but in retrospect it would of been great to have an atmospheric forest soundtrack.
We also linked the leaves and vines to the real Jub Jub Tree bulbs growing in pots, needing the sun & rain to make the forest grow.
I had to leave unexpectedly early , so I cant wait to see how the forest now looks!
Feedback from staff included
'Really good activity'
'Great range of textures and materials'