Forest Fun at Charlton Acorns

"This is the best kind of classroom, It’s a journey through time and space, From the smallest seed to the largest tree. This is a Forest and a learning place. This is the best kind of classroom, Where the seasons don’t happen in books. Where the learning is watching and thinking and talking and everyone notices, everyone looks."

From ‘The best Kind of Classroom’ by Ian MacMillan

We are very lucky to have use of Charlton Primary School's nature reserve, where we are able to take a small group of children to for a few weeks at a time to participate in outdoor learning away from the pre-school. 

What benefits will my child get from participating in Forest Fun?

It supports the holistic development of children: Health and fitness – Being active in an outdoor, natural environment.

Increased emotional wellbeing – There is research available supporting this. Social development – Communicating, and negotiating with peers and adults to solve problems and share experiences. Skills development – Developing fine and gross motor skills and coordination for real purposes. Gaining knowledge and understanding – Multi–sensory, real-life learning. Individualised learning – Careful observation allows adults to tailor support to children’s own interests and stage of development.

What will my child be doing?

The Forest Fun routine varies depending on the site, however it may include; preparing to go out by dressing in outdoor clothes such as waterproofs; travelling to the site; singing special songs and sharing stories. Forest Fun will run all year round and in all weathers (unless weather conditions are dangerous).  Possible activities may include: Hunting for mini-beasts and/or pond dipping. Natural crafts – making necklaces from elder, crowns or dream catchers from willow, collages from natural materials, weaving with long grasses, tree cookies, etc Mud sculptures, Shelter building and knot tying, Tree climbing, fire building and cooking on a camp fire. Sessions are planned around the individual’s and group’s needs, and built upon each week. 

Some of the activities the children may participate in are ‘higher-risk activities’ (such as campfire cooking or tool use).  However, these activities are not available to the children until certain behaviours and boundaries are established.  Children are encouraged and supported in recognising and managing risk for themselves, through real life situations and experience.