We currently use forest school for our preschools and some of our toddler rooms across the nurseries. As part of our strong ethos on developing children further we use outdoor forest school to build on their life skills.
If you haven’t come across the term or aren’t particularly sure what it means, then we have listed some of the reasons why we believe forest schools are fundamental in a child’s development, health and well-being.
- First and foremost its fun! It is educational whilst also allowing children to play, explore and discover. Children who participate in Forest Schools are generally observed to be happier. The fresh air, the excitement, getting muddy and not having physical constraints to messy play that we experience indoors.
- Risk taking- Children learn how to balance risk taking and what they can challenge themselves further to do. We start our sessions building fires and discussing the safety aspects involved. We also encourage and motivate children to further their physical development through tree climbing, rolling down hills and trying things for the first time.
- Knowledge - Children become more aware of the natural environment and how they can protect the world around them.
- Early Years Foundation Stage - almost all areas of the EYFS are covered during forest school sessions, whether its counting one more pine cone or using leaves to make marks and draw.
- Physical development - Children’s stamina and core strength are tested and pushed further. Core muscles and physical development aid a child’s concentration and writing abilities later on in life.
- Mental Wellbeing - Children are happier when outdoors and this positive feedback to their brains releases chemicals to aid their mental health and create a stress free environment. They are also more likely to join in and play alongside other children when engaged and happy.