Lots of our settings have trained forest school practitioners but not everyone knows what it is! So here is your guide and some ideas to try at home.
Our friends at the Forest School Association say:
Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.
Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and complements the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/
‘Forest School is a feeling you can’t put into words.’ Tonicha, aged 9
This activity is great for babies:
Outside Messy gloop.
This is definitely a favourite for the babies, we love getting messy!
Mix cornflour with water to create this amazing gloop mixture. Place it in a tuff spot / shallow box and let your child go wild.
Best to play with this outside as it can be super messy.
Ideas for Toddlers and Pre-school aged children
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (this is one of Pre-school forest schools favourite activities)
What you will need:
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury A soft teddy bear Logs or materials to build a den (tent, bed sheets, towels etc)
What to do:
1. Gather the children in the garden and read We’re going on a bear hunt to them.
2. Assist the children in building a den out of logs or resources you may have to help them to create a ‘bear cave’. Place the cuddly toy inside the cave.
3. Go on an adventure acting out the story as you go along. This could be on during you daily exercise or in the garden.
4. Over-exaggerate the movements needed for the story making it a physical and interactive activity.
5. End the story at the cave you have built… but watch out for the bear!
(for young children, provide more support and help)
Extending the activity:
Make a natural art picture of the bear.
Use the story to create outside sensory activities with the elements used in the book: water, mud, grass and snow.
Mini outdoor numeracy
Draw a line on the ground using chalk, and arrange five natural objects (a stone, a leaf, a pine cone, etc.) on one side of the line. Your child has to find five matching objects and copy your layout as a mirror image on the other side of the line: a good lesson in symmetry.
A favourite game in our forest school is leaf snap, we really enjoy finding our own leaf and snapping them to leaves that match in a variety of ways.
Yoga and mindfulness
Today’s yoga pose:
STANDING FORWARD Bend
See if your child can grab their ankles by bending forward at the waist. They can also bend their knees to make it easier. This helps stretch the hamstrings, calves and hips and strengthen the thighs and knees.
Use a happy moment to ‘soak in the good’ by pausing with your child to observe the pleasant physical and emotional feelings present. We often do this at forest school by laying on the ground looking at the sky and taking deep breaths in and out.
Please keep us updated with your forest school at home adventures on the famly app, we can’t wait to see all the fun you’ve been having
Hugs and elbow bumps
Sam & Nicola and all the team at Spring Wittering xx