Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Finding Fairy Paper from Forest Trees - Nature Play

Have you ever found fairy paper on a nature walk? Chances are if you've gone on a woodland walk you've strolled straight past it. Here's a little clue to help you spot it when you're next out & about.


Beneath the ferns lying on the forest floor this magical fairy paper is just waiting to be found. But where does this fairy paper come from? 


From the magnificent silver birch! These trees can be easily identified by their tall thin tree trunks which are covered in a smooth, light coloured bark. The leaves provide a large delicate canopy, & during April-May you'll spot catkins hanging from the long thin branches.

Not only do these trees offer beautiful colours & amazing textures for children to explore, but the bark creates natural fairy paper as the tree sheds its many layers.


If you look carefully around the base of a silver birch tree the light coloured strips of 'fairy paper' can easily be found nearby. 


If you're lucky you might even find an old branch lying around & you can peel away the 'paper' for yourself.  

We don't recommend peeling it away from a growing tree trunk as this could harm the tree & any insets hiding beneath. 


This nature based activity is full of wonder & imagination & could be used in a number of ways.

* You could set out on a fairy paper hunt
* See how many strips of fairy paper you could find 
* When you find the paper you could look carefully to see if you can find any fairy writing 
* Take a look around for any fairy houses hidden near where you found the fairy paper 
* Explore the texture & properties of the fragile bark. Why does the tree shed its bark?
* Consider which insects or birds may use the tree bark & the rest of the tree
* Encourage the children to think about where our everyday paper comes from. 




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