Forest school…?

I thought I’d write a short piece about our experience with Mya attending forest school. Before having children I wasn’t familiar with the concept of forest schools in fact I’d never heard the name! What I was sure about was that I fully intended to home educate any children that I had in the future. Fast forward a few years and Mya was on the scene. We’d made lots of new mum friends in the area and somewhere along the line was introduced to forest schools! Initially it wasn’t something I looked into as my husband and I had no plans of sending her to a traditional nursery. I did however find out that a local FS to us did a playgroup open to the public, which runs at their site.

We started attending the group regularly and as it was run by one of the teachers, so I came to learn about how things ran and the ethos of the place. I became more interested in possibly applying for Mya to attend and was warned the waiting lists were huge! We did however get offered a place for her to start in September as we’d hoped. Now Mya attends are fully outdoors forest school, which means that the vast changes in the weather makes for a brilliant learning experience, and in my opinion, helps build character in the children. But it does also mean you have to consider appropriate clothing for all weather conditions!
Mya spends her days in the confines of a wooded meadow in the heart of the city, they have free reign to explore their surroundings as they see fit. There are trees to climb and fallen trees to balance across, a mud kitchen for their culinary creations, walls to jump from, planks of wood to turn into a boat, car or pirate ship! There are no forced or compulsory activities, the teachers are led by the children’s interests on the day; so maybe pond dipping, making daisy chains or simply going on a trip to the local park.
Another aspect I love is introducing the children to risk awareness, so they use proper tools to chop wood, the children light fires and then toast marshmallows over it. They cook food over an open fire, so learn about fire safety, as well as independence. Most importantly she spends her days there and is allowed to be a child not expected to sit still and silent, but to run and roll in the mud.

This blog was written by Ella from Wrap the Rainbow – you can follow her adventures here

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