Sunday, 23 October 2016

Why Forest Schools Are Great For Kids

Until recently I had never heard of forest schools, but now I know more about them I thought I'd share the benefits of them for children, because they're pretty impressive!

Forest schools are for children and families and are run by trained forest school teachers across the country.

Why Forest Schools Are Great For Kids
Fernee Forest Club

They involve exploring the outdoors to learn about our natural environment, but in a way that develops our confidence and self-esteem.

A new forest school has recently launched in Brighton, called the Fernee Forest Club, so Chunk and I have been to a couple of sessions and he's absolutely loved it.



Sessions involve a range of activities that aim to meet the varying learning styles we each have. These activities help children to build knowledge of the outdoors which includes how to stay safe, and I think this is vital because it's even taught me a lot; I was never that fond of the great outdoors as a child so forest school has taught me a lot about what plants and berries are poisonous, how to keep safe in the woods and how to build a fire.

Chunk now knows what berries he should avoid when we go out for walks, and how to build a fort and fire, which will come in handy whenever he goes on future camping trips.

The sessions also help children to build resilience and independence, and they are full of creative activities. During one session we made bird feeders out of toilet rolls, peanut butter, string and nuts and it taught Chunk about caring for animals. It was a great task for hand-eye coordination and getting him to work with other children to make them.

Forest School is also about helping children to assess risk for themselves and teaching them to make informed, sensible decisions, and I saw Chunk start to do this when he was trying to build his own fort. He had to find large sticks and cut some to make the roof. He recognised he should get adult help with the cutters, and he would check if the sticks had sharp spikes on them before handling them.

As well as being educational, I like how the sessions are very physical so they've been a great form of exercise for Chunk. He has enjoyed climbing trees, building dens, bug hunting and exploring the various plants and trees.

Fernee Forest Club

The Fernee Forest Club runs in Brighton and has toddler sessions, after school clubs and a monthly family session.

Chunk attended Fernee Forest Club for two sessions. No payment was made and all opinions are honest and my own.

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