Forest Adventures

Children within the nursery are offered the opportunity to attend the local Forest where they have the chance to explore the environment, risk assesses their play, and learn about the importance of safety and looking after and caring for our natural environment.

A typical day in the forest starts with the children taking part in a group discussion about the importance of safety and how following these steps keep ourselves and others safe. They work as a team taking turns to push and pull the trolley that holds the forest equipment. When we reach the forest, the children take responsibility for setting their boundaries by putting signs on trees and branches. The children use a welcome song of head, shoulders, knees, and toes and begin to identify objects that they would have to be mindful of within the forest and also learn how to inform staff if they are stuck or need some assistance. During their forest adventure, the children love to explore; climbing trees, making dens and shelters, walks down the stream, and getting muddy in ‘Shrek’s Swamp’. These have been the most recent favorites. The children have even made some new forest friends, Rosie the Robin and Violet the Frog!

The children love keeping an eye out for different animals they may see, often finding snails and other bugs, rabbits, and sometimes deer. They love using their binoculars to spot the cows in the field too. When the children are finished with lunch, they leave some for Rosie and her family to eat, who come and visit the children at lunchtime.

The children have fun in ‘Shrek’s Swamp’ and enjoy climbing the hill behind it. It’s nearly always wet and muddy so the children work together to tie a rope to a tree at the top to make it easier and safer for them to climb, although they give each other a helping hand when they need it. One of the children’s favourite things to do is to walk the stream up to the small waterfall which we all do together. We take our time walking and work on our balancing skills, understanding that the rocks under our feet are slippy. When we reach the waterfall, the children are confident when making choices and in choosing how comfortable they feel going up and down the waterfall.

The children take responsibility for their area in the forest and take on leadership roles sharing their skills when using tools for cutting and carving any branches and nettles that have grown which may cause danger to them when walking through the paths. Risk assessment is an important part of the adventure and skill they learn from practitioners supporting the experience. They also enjoy using the tools to build dens and shelters with branches of trees and make a hammock in case we need a rest from all the fun.

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