Summer sun, creative fun and another year done!

It was a lively and lovely July at Folha Verde, with plenty of interesting and creative activities going on during our open month, when we welcome extra children from the wider community to come and join us for a few weeks.

We have continued some of our ongoing projects, with some children completing their own tool boxes in the the carpentry sessions with Paul and some starting wood carving with chisels.

Regular science experiments have also proved popular, including exploring the properties of water, surface tension, making bottle rockets and fireworks in a jar!

Children also enjoyed making and playing with ‘ooblek’, a slime-like substance which changes easily from solid to liquid – feeling hard when you try to scoop it up in your hands from the container, but quickly turning to liquid which runs through your fingers when you manage to pick it up!

Work on the Folha Verde herbario, our catalogue of plants and flowers on Folha Verde land, has continued and it’s looking really beautiful.

Creatively, it’s been a rich and rewarding time, with all sorts of arts and crafts activities – including natural dyeing, with children bringing in items of clothing to be dyed with natural pigments and designing lovely leaf prints with some beautiful results. We also created fabric collages, made our own watercolour paints, and did some sessions on drawing people and faces.

Paul has started some guitar lessons, which have been well-received so it would be great to find a way to continue these somehow when we return to our usual schedule.

Thank you to everyone who made the open month a rich and varied experience by coming along to offer something. Children enjoyed ‘looking at the world close up’ with Fran – gathering things from nature and looking at them through a lens and observing, drawing and sharing their findings with each other. 

Thanks to Steve for bringing a smile to all our faces and some thought-provoking discussion around to what extent we choose our actions (are they ‘ours’ or not?!).

We also enjoyed listening to Stacey, who joined us to share her knowledge and experience of snakes. Children were interested to hear her stories and facts about snakes from her own country, South Africa, as well as seeing photos and hearing about some of the snakes native to Portugal. There were lots of questions!

Thanks for Lotte for coming to offer a drama session. Children had a lot of fun acting out different scenarios with others having to guess what they were feeling or doing!

In our last week we enjoyed an offering from Teresa all about crystals. It was great to see so many children sat around the table listening attentively to information about Teresa’s own crystals, to share their own knowledge and experience and to ask questions.

Michael joined us for some green archery, starting off the sessions with a Native American song, some explanation of what bows and arrows were traditionally made from and then demonstration and practice of archery technique. It was a hot day to be out in the sun, but it was still the best bit of the day for many of the children when we did our usual ‘best and worst’ session at the end of the day.

We also enjoyed river walk with Mick, who walked and talked us through the evolution of planet earth and gave us the much-welcomed chance to have our feet in the water in the heat!

Of course children have been playing all sorts of games as usual and enjoying their daily dips in the water at this hot time of year. We feel so grateful to have this beautiful swimming spot to cool down in.

In Jardim they were having a creative time as usual – making sparkly snake spirals on the day of Stacey’s snake talk, painting the solar system, making little boats and making dragonflies with Patricia, a guest Steiner teacher who spent the day with us. In our last week Jardim had an ‘India day’, looking at costumes, music, beliefs, jewellery, photos and seeing where India is in the world. There was also a beautiful addition to the morning circle when Kin bought his harp along.

We finished off our last week with a drumming day and party in the heat (thanks to all the drummers and musicians who came along for the day)! 

We hope everyone has had happy, peaceful and restful summer break and look forward to our return on 14th September.

Love to all, 

The Folha Verde team x