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Forest School and the Outdoors

Below you will find some website links for further information about Forest School, articles about the benefits of being outdoors and activities you could try.

 

Here is a link to the Forest School Association. If you would like some more information about what Forest School is and its benefits then have a click and a read:

https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/

 

Here are some resource websites:

http://www.treetoolsforschools.org.uk/categorymenu/?cat=activities

 

https://www.naturallylearning.co.uk/50-outdoor-activities-toddlers/

 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/50-things-to-do-before-youre-11--activity-list

 

https://education.rspca.org.uk/home-resources?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Ads&utm_campaign=CCResources

 

https://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/outdoor-activities-for-kids/

 

https://www.creativestarlearning.co.uk

 

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/outdoor-games

 

https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/03/50-simple-outdoor-activities-for-kids.Html

 

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/03/kids-nature-activities-self-isolation/

 

Articles about the benefits of outdoor play:

https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/jun/04/outdoor-play-inspires-independent-learning-for-early-years

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36795912

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2444866416301234

 

https://www.outdoor-learning-research.org/Evidence

 

https://www.lotc.org.uk/category/research/

 

https://www.walescouncilforoutdoorlearning.org/research/

 

 

 

Below are some activities to have a go at:

1. Go on a minibeast hunt

Get out in the fresh air and take a closer look at your garden. You'll soon notice it's teeming with wildlife! Can you find...

  • a worm after a spring shower
  • a bumblebee looking for nectar
  • a spotty ladybird exploring the grass
  • a slimy snail in a dark damp spot
  • a butterfly basking in the sunshine?

 

2. Make a loo roll bird feeder

This is messy fun children will love to get stuck into. And it will help them learn about the birds in your neighbourhood.

You can make this simple feeder with items you probably already have at home:

  1. Smother a cardboard tube in peanut butter (no added salt and sugar versions are suitable for birds).
  2. Roll it in bird seed and thread some string through the hole.
  3. Tie it up in your garden where birds will feel safe eating.

How many garden birds will you spot?

 

3. Go on a scavenger hunt

This is a fun idea for children of all ages. You can keep it really simple for little ones - help them look out for different colours or textures in nature. For older children, challenge them to hunt for seasonal signs such as spring blossom or new leaves. Or ask them to see how many tiny natural objects they can find to fit inside a matchbox.

 

4. Make natural art

Art and crafts will be a popular way to keep kids busy. To mix things up, put the pencils and crayons to one side and look for natural art materials instead. Collect fallen leaves, petals and sticks and use them to make a picture or sculpture.

You could even use the objects as 'stampers' or paintbrushes - dipping them in paint and rolling, brushing or stamping them on paper to create interesting patterns and effects.

 

5. Knots

Find yourself a length of string, rope or even a shoe lace and have a go at tying some knots.

https://www.animatedknots.com/scouting-knots

 

6. Nature Crowns

You will need a long strip of sturdy paper or card, scissors and sticky tape (double sided)/glue. Search your natural environment and find some interesting items that would go nicely on a very royal crown. Arrange and stick your items on your strip of paper to represent the crown of a king or queen.

 

7. Magic Wands

Go and find a stick you think has a magical look. Find some decorative items from your outdoor environment too. Use some string/wool to wrap around your wand and attach your decorative items. What are the wands magical powers? What features of the wand provide these powers? Maybe you could mix up a magical muddy potion.

 

8. Journey Stick

Find yourselves a stick that you like the look of. Go on a journey to find natural objects that can become part of your stick. Put the first things found at the top of the stick to represent the beginning and the last thing found near the bottom. When your journey has finished use your stick to retell your journey. Talk about chosen items. Where did they come from?

 

9. Den Building

Find some nice long sticks and build yourself a frame. Fill the gaps with leaves, sticks, blankets or anything else you can make work. Make it cosy, then sit and relax with a good book.

 

10. Be still

Watch the clouds - What shapes can you see?

Lie down and close your eyes - How many different sound scan you hear?