Meterologically Spring has started. I can’t tell you just how happy I am to see the back of winter. I’ve been a proper recluse in terms of our outdoor adventures. I’ve avoided the park, we’ve not really been to any National Trust places and I’ve definitely preferred the comfort of my home and my joggers.
But with Spring, comes the showers and wet weather. Already I feel like we’ve had worse weather than the winter had on offer. But as it’s officially not winter, I have forced myself out of hibernation and into the wild again. This time with P3 for some one to one time.
I’ve been determined to crack P3s shyness and antisocial behaviour. She’ll be heading to nursery/preschool this September and I want to make sure she’s mentally prepared for socialising as although she’s always been to either Gymboree or playgroups, she’s still super shy. I’ve figured finding groups with children her age group is a great way to push her in at the deep end.
We’d seen a local Forest School for toddler be recommended through a Facebook group and I really wanted to give it a try. Although I have no worries about mud, water and sticky hands, I’m not exactly at one with nature. I thought it would be a great opportunity for both P3 and me to explore and get some fresh air.
One of P1s nursery room leader now teaches at a forest school so I was excited to see what it was all about. I paid our £4 and booked in advance. I was really nervous about meeting new people in an extremely different environment to what we are used to. We arrived in the car park and I popped P3s waterproof all in ones and wellies on.
There was quite a few people at the group. It’s very much about exploring freely. It started with a little explore around what would usually be a ditch. It was full of mud, branches and leaves. P3 enjoyed stomping in the mud but I could tell by her face that she was a little confused about the whole situation.
We all then walked up a hill, finding our way through large puddles and into the Forest School area. There was a canopy hanging from the trees that covered a fire pit and stumps of trees for seats. We all sat down and shared a snack. The teacher had brought pancakes to share as it was pancake day plus some homemade flapjacks.
Then it was more free play. P3 was definitely on edge dealing with a new environment and quite a few children. I focused her with a little beading activity with home made elder beads on string. Then we wandered around the sight. We managed a full hour before she decided to have a tantrum. This resulted in P3 sitting on my lap just observing the rest of the group.
There was a little singing session at the end which I thought was really sweet. Then we made our own way back down the hill and home. I’m still not sure what I really thought of the group. I want to go again, definitely, but I’m thinking maybe just once a month. It’s only suitable until she turns three years old and I definitely feel like I’m paying £4 for her to walk in the woods.
Have you ever tried a forest school? I’d love to hear your experiences.