What we do...
I am a firm beleiver in 'real life' learning, in experiencing the world around us through free play and exploration. The outdoors holds so many opportunities for us and I like to get outside every day, sometimes incorporating Forest School activities, sometimes for adventures in the woods or along the riverbank and sometimes trips to libraries, museums and open farms. Seasonal theme's run through our days here to guide our learning and to provide a framework on which to hang our planned activities.
Sessions run from 9am - 2.30pm. Our days are flexible and various and follow the individual needs of the children but a rough outline is as follows.
9am welcome and cuddles
9.30am feed the chickens, collect eggs. Outdoor play.
10am snack time, stories
(some babies sleep)
11.45am lunch followed by free play indoors, music time.
(some babies sleep)
1pm afternoon activity, baking, making etc
2.30pm home time
As a Forest Schools trained practitioner, I love being outdoors, and believe that children are happiest when allowed to explore the natural environment; from tree climbing and den buildning to simply exploring the woods and learning the names of the trees and plants around us.
Spending time outdoors and in wild places, away from familiar toys and the noises of everyday life has calming, reflective and restorative effect. From my own experience, children are often calmed and centred from a trip to the woods or to the river. Sometimes it allows them to just 'be', to reflect and to order their formal learning. Sometimes they are stimulated, inspired and energised from the new sensory experiences. Either way, the balancing effect of our environment makes me passionate about the importance of the outdoors in child development, and I believe that Forest School is an excellent way for the next generation to re-engage with the outdoors.
Find out more about Forest Schools at Paddock Cottage HERE.