We are very lucky in Barna woods to have various streams running through the woods, although not all of them are running at all times. With the amount of rain that fell in August and continued into September, there has been an abundance of mud and running water, two things that fill any child’s heart with joy upon encountering them. If you are lucky enough to have water in your forest, or field, or any other green space that you have access to, make sure to take advantage of all the possibilities of endless fun that water holds.
Clear a stream
Often times fallen leaves and other debris will be blocking the path of flowing water and slowing down the flow of your stream. Get stuck in and use your hands or sticks to clear out any debris and watch how far your stream will reach now that it is free to flow. You’ll be surprised by just how long this can hold a child’s attention.
Build a dam
Find rocks, sticks and any other strong items on the forest floor to create a damn to block the flow of water. Allow the water to pool behind the dam and watch the water levels rise. Once you are happy that the water has built up enough, open your dam and watch the deluge of water sweep away down the hillside.
Build a bridge
Set yourself a challenge to create a safe way to cross the stream. Rather than looking for one large piece of wood try to find at least three different materials to help build your bridge. Ensure that you don’t accidentally create a dam as well as a bridge, find ways to allow the water to still flow beneath or between the rocks or sticks that you are using to create your structure. Ivy vines are a great way of tying things together, and can count as one of the materials used as per your challenge. Test out your bridge, see if it’s strong enough to hold one person at a time, or even all of the family.
Build a raft
Test out which types of stick float the best. Once you’re happy with your sticks use ivy vines to tie them together. Attach a sail if you wish by piercing a leaf with a twig and standing it upright between your wooden slats. Set sail and see how far your raft can travel before sinking or becoming caught up in the natural obstacles that your stream will present.
Happy watering wild in the woods this week.