Forest School Day: the benefits of reconnecting kids with naturePosted by Michael MOE, 08 October, 2021
We all know that the wind in our hair and the great outdoors is good for our wellbeing and happiness, and that totally goes for children too. Worrying studies recently revealed that here in the UK 1 in 9 children didn’t get into a park, forest, beach or other kind of natural setting during the last year! #shockedface Luckily for us, here in Essex where we have our MOE workshop, we have plenty of gorgeous green environments to check out with the little ones, which is exactly why we love that our resources focus so much on Forest School and outdoor learning opportunities. It’s a no-brainer that using nature as a classroom is a fantastic way to teach children, but to add to what you already know here are a few ways that Forest School helps to reconnect children with the great outdoors…
What is Forest School?
Originating in Scandinavia in the 1950s and based on the philosophy that children’s interaction with nature and the natural world is a super-duper important factor in their development, Forest Schools came to the UK in around 1993, and have been filling little one’s lives with an outdoor education like no other ever since. It is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education, and we love everything about it!
The benefits of Forest School in the early years
Playing and learning outside improves children’s physical and emotional wellbeing and the Forest School experience has proven to be hugely beneficial for children’s emotional and developmental needs. Children are curious little critters so we know from experience how much they love using natural materials found in the woodland and enjoy gathering sticks and leaves, making dens, climbing trees, using twigs to write and draw in mud, counting bugs and splashing in puddles. But while we know they are having fun in the great outdoors, Forest School can also help children develop:
- social skills
- communication skills
- self-esteem and confidence
- physical skills including the development of both gross and fine motor skills
- problem solving and risk taking skills
- knowledge and an understanding of the world around them.
As such, Forest School settings fully support the EYFS curriculum, and children leave their early years education with a keenness for education and a motivation to learn.
So, Happy Forest School Day, everyone, and don’t forget, if you’re looking to make your nursery, pre-school or home education space more Forest School-minded, do take a look at our website and see how our sustainably made, handcrafted wooden resources can help…
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