Fairy Doors, Mushroom Houses and Autumn Shows …

weald-and-downSo this weekend saw another family adventure … Wellies on … Dog in the Car … Off we go to the Weald and Downland Museum for their annual Autumn show.

Now if you have never been to the Weald and Downland it really is a must! … It is an outdoor museum which exhibits rescued traditional rural buildings, it is set in 40 acres of outstanding South Downs countryside and all the houses can be explored. It is a child’s paradise, they are free to roam and can find out about the stories of the men, women and children who lived and worked in the houses and buildings over a 950-year period.

The Autumn show is a treat in itself and you get to experience the sights and sounds of the countryside and celebrate the harvest!

This year’ show got me thinking about our Nature Trail project, there were so many stalls and things to see and do.


Fairy doors seem to feature heavily in this years show and I know this is something we are keen to take into the copse in the Nature Trail project …


Research into how to make them is underway and a wood burning tool to add detail to them has been purchased …

photo-2016-10-08-13-04-46_2323photo-2016-10-08-13-05-35_2324We also watched the Mushroom man, he is there every year without fail and brings science to the art of Mushroom house making, he talks to children about friction and how the wood is being cut using friction, he does all this whilst dancing about in front of a lathe wearing no shoes!


There was also the bug houses, these seem to have popped up everywhere we have been lately, maybe its insect hibernation time (maybe that is a blog post for another day), but it made me realise that children are so incredibly fascinated by bugs.  The Bug hotels we made at the Green Dreams day are still in the garden and the children check them everyday.  A bug hotel must feature in the schools Nature Trail … And so yet more research begins

The Weald and Downland show also got me thinking about outdoor learning and the benefits it can bring to children and their education … this is something discussed in a previous blog post … Why go outdoors? … As suggested by Sara Knight (2011) in Forest School for all, repeated enjoyable outdoor experiences will have a positive effect on people, including their potential for learning and for personal change.  If that is not a justifiable for an afternoon out, I am not sure what is …



Knight, S. (2011) Forest School for all. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.


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