Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, which offers opportunities to children for holistic growth through regular sessions. This is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supports risk-taking in a safe environment. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural environment and setting.
Here are VIP Nursery and Pre-School we encourage and use forest schools to help our children gather more knowledge, helping them develop socially, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically. It creates a more safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for our children to try new things, challenge themselves and participate in risk taking in a fully supervised, secure and safe environment.
Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it, helping children understand where they and how they belong in the world and society. Our approach to risk means that our children are continuously expanding their knowledge and abilities through solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is far more than just learning about safe risk taking, but a more holistic approach to risks being present in everything we do, therefore Forest School helps our children to become healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners with the skills and knowledge to succeed in all that they do.
Forest School Activities
Building a Bug Hotel
Our children love seeing what little creatures they can find in our outdoor spaces, where they enjoy making them little homes to enjoy, providing lots of natural resources, such as leaves, mud and twigs to create a natural environment for all bugs and insects. We love seeing what little creatures are staying and enjoying our bug hotels on a daily basis, providing us opportunities to learn about each resident we find, supporting our understanding of the world and how to care for creatures and animals.
Building dens can be found in many favourite memories, so here at VIP we strive to encourage and support this as much as possible, providing resources to do this both inside and outdoors, whether dens are made from wood, soft play cubes or even sheets and blankets. Our children love these activities and take great pride in their creations, moving chairs and tables to help build and create their indoor spaces, using their vivid imaginations to the full.
At VIP Nursery and Pre-School we carry out a lot of gardening activities, where we grow our own vegetables, such as tomatoes. We also plant flowers, grow our own sunflowers and even grow our own herbs. This teaches our children about what we need for food and flowers to grow, which provides them with the basic knowledge of photosynthesis. All our children love taking part and especially enjoy playing with the mud and checking daily to see how our plants are doing.
Playing in puddles
We ask at VIP Nursery and Pre-School that all children have access to welly boots, allowing us to play outdoors no matter the conditions, we love mud and water play as much as our children. By allowing children to take part in puddle play, it increases their opportunities to learn how to move, experiment with movement, especially jumping. Through jumping, children develop strength, co-ordination and agility, whilst also teaching the children about their natural world, providing the foundation for learning in areas such as evaporation and density in their older years.
At VIP Nursery and Pre-School we have two different climbing frame sets, one suitable for our toddlers and another bigger one for our older children. By having these it allows children to challenge themselves, help their physical development and support them in building up their confidence, self-belief and gross motor skills.
This is a great way of teaching children how the natural resources they see around them can be used to aid survival and helps us with our essential needs, like food and warmth. Our children also love finding sticks that we can use to build our campfire and enjoy listening to stories, telling their own and singing around their creation.
Daisy Crowns and Bracelets
This activity is brilliant at encouraging and helping children develop their fine motor skills as well as learn about their environment, providing them with knowledge on how we can use a wide variety of natural resources around us to construct and make our ideas reality. This supports and promotes imagination skills and can also support role play in the outdoors.
Here at VIP Nursery and Pre-School, we have a variety of equipment to promote outdoor construction, including soft play blocks, giant Lego, tree stumps, Giant pebbles and tyres. With one of our tyres we have made a fairy garden, where the children painted the tyre and helped create the garden, using painted pebbles and other resources.
When collecting conkers it provides us with great opportunities to discuss what the different types of trees are and what we can find from each type. Once collected we are able to use these in a number of ways, one being to help the children add the string and play the conker game, or we can create conker caterpillars or other crafts, linking into nature resource craft below. This activity provides great opportunities for children to learn about their natural world and environment, which is all apart of their Understanding the World in the EYFS.
Nature Resource Crafts
We regularly take trips out into nature in search or leaves, sticks and pine cones, where we will use these to make crafts, such as these beautiful pine cone hedgehogs.