Wednesday is our forest school day, which is probably one of the boys’ favourite days of the week.
We love Wednesdays. Because we’ve been going every week, the boys are beginning to feel as if they are part of a team. They know that if they want a campfire then they need to source wood. They know they may need to chop the wood. They’ve learned that if they put up a shelter it needs to be taken down. They’re learning that if there’s a pile of rocks that need moving, it’s better for everyone to take one rock than it is to let one person take twenty.
It’s been really lovely watching them integrate into the team over the last few months and gaining self assurance in what roles they can play within the group.
What other benefits are there to forest school sessions?
Forest School builds a child’s confidence and esteem by allowing them to be responsible for many things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to take responsibility for. Watching the children take charge of building and lighting fires, cooking food and making hot drinks is brilliant. Their confidence in their abilities is growing with each session and it’s wonderful to see.
The nature of forest school allows children to engage in an element of risk – learning how to use tools correctly, start fires and whittle with a knife, for example. Allowing risky play enhances decision making skills, boosts confidence and provides real-world experiences.
Outdoor play can also:
- Improve sleep
- Improve levels of attentiveness
- Boost short-term memory
- Improve our immune systems
- Improve coordination, balance, gross motor skills and fine motor skills
- Inspire healthy choices
- Decrease the chances of a child becoming overweight
- Increase levels of Vitamin D – important for fighting infections as well as building strong bones and teeth.
- Lower the risk of mental health issues
- Improves muscle tone
- Increase social interaction
- Improve levels of cooperation and sharing
Our forest school sessions are inspiring the boys to get outside even more than they usually are, and as an added bonus, there’s nothing better than coming home to a warm house with the smell of bonfire woven into your clothes.
Wednesday’s are a good day.