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Being prepared is key; – fires are risky, but if well planned for they can become a part of normal routine. We started with a staff training session as staff need to be confident around the fire, we ensured we had all the equipment in place – fire first aid kit, fire cooking gloves etc. The Safety circle was set up from September with each forest session starting with sitting around the circle to discuss the forest rules.
We introduced the fire to the children by holding weekly sessions to practice sitting around the safety circle, keeping to the same groups so we didn’t get distracted by new children in the group, this also meant we could identify when groups were ready for a real fire. We discussed about fire safety and how fires are hot so we cannot touch. We also talked about what we could cook on the fire. “Soup, burgers, hotdogs and marshmallows” are popular choices.
We created our own Fire circle rules;
We do not go into the safety circle (unless invited by an adult)
PSED: Seeks out others to share experiences (22-36).
PSED: Demonstrates sense of self and an individual (22-36).
CL: Uses single words (8-20).
CL: Uses different types of everyday words (16-26).
CL; Understands who, what and where questions (22-36).
UTW; Can talk about some of the things they have observed (30-50).
UTW: The World 30-50mths Talks about why things happen.
EAD: Exploring and using media and materials 30-50mths Beginning to describe the texture of things.
UTW; Shows care and concern for living things and the environment. (30-50)
By the end of October, we were confident the Preschool children were ready to have a real fire session. We made pumpkin soup the day before in cooking club and discussed how we would heat it on the fire. Before the fire we had one more fire safety talk and looked at the tools we had ready, gloves, a bucket or water and the first aid kit.
We discussed the colours, the smells, the sounds and how we could feel the heat. We watched the soup begin to bubble as it heated on the fire and talked about it ‘boiling’ meaning it was very hot. We then tasted our home-made pumpkin soup which was very tasty