What are the 6 BIGGEST Benefits of Forest Schools?

What are the benefits of forest schools?

Inspired by the Scandinavian approach to early years learning, forest schools are becoming increasingly popular across Europe, Asia and the USA. Considering the many wonderful ways in which forest schools can support children to thrive emotionally, socially and physically, it’s easy to see why many parents are keen to get their kids learning outdoors. Here we look at just some of the benefits of forest schools.

 

What are the benefits of forest schools?

What are the benefits of forest schools?

Let’s take a look at the benefits of forest schools for our children.

 

Holistic development Benefits of Forest Schools

Forest schools encourage learning through play, where children are able to gain confidence and self-esteem by letting their curious nature and creativity lead the way. The ideology is simple – to nurture complete development of the child as a whole. This includes building emotional, social and physical skills through exploration of the natural world, which are all important for forming a solid foundation for positive development and overall well being.

 

Nature Craft and Play – bring the Benefits of Forest Schools  to your home

 

My book A Year of Nature Craft and Play is packed full of ways to have nature based fun in and around your home

Do take a look – if you cant get to a forest school this is your next best option!

 

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Awarded Highly Commended in the 2022 Creative Play Awards

Discover the treasures and pleasures of our natural world with 52 fun activities following the seasons.

Filled with crafts, gardening, games, art and science activities for children aged 7 years and up that are budget-friendly and will entertain all year round.

From Spring sunflower challenges to Summer mandalas, Autumn conker craft to Winter pine cone decorations, it will inspire children to get creative with nature!

  • Fun activities for every week of the year
  • Easy-to-follow instructions and tips
  • Colourful photographs and illustrations

 

Social and language skills Benefits of forest schools

Designed to be enjoyed over a long period of time with a consistent peer group, children often grow strong friendships and feel a sense of community within their forest school. As they build, cook, explore and play together, children will naturally encounter brilliant opportunities for the development of vital social skills. By communicating with others to achieve a common goal, they can also develop their vocabulary and negotiation skills.

 

What are the benefits of forest schools?

What are the benefits of forest schools?

Physical and intellectual development

As children explore the world around them, climbing trees, building fires or harvesting crops or water, they naturally come across obstacles and problems. Taking knowledge from others and using their own ideas to overcome these challenges creates a thirst for learning, which massively increases children’s confidence and resilience. As they play, they are also developing fine and gross motor skills, as well as stamina, agility, balance and strength.

 

Emotional and spiritual development as benefits of forest schools

Sessions typically include periods of reflection, where compassionate leaders allow children to discuss what they have achieved, as well as what they struggled with and any failures they experienced. This develops their emotional intelligence, so they can better understand and express how they feel. Through spending quality time outside, they also develop a deep connection with nature whilst strengthening their relationships with both adults and other children.

Benefits of forest schools include supported risk-taking

Forest schools are all about freedom, and a big part of that is allowing children to take risks. Children can be taught how to safely use screwdrivers, knives, axes, matches and learn about campfire safety. This empowers them, teaching them new perspectives and encouraging their independence.

It’s important to remember that whilst there is an emphasis on low intervention, that doesn’t mean no intervention – they are supervised when using dangerous tools. By exploring crafting tools and enjoying activities like building rope swings and mud sliding down hills, children’s self-esteem and sense of independence can be massively increased.

 

benefits of forest schools

Creativity and fun benefits of forest schools

Overall, forest schools provide a fun, creative environment where children can let their imaginations run free whilst seamlessly benefiting from mental and physical stimulation which is sure to nurture their mind, body and spirit.

 

Further reading

Backyard adventures for kids

earth day drawing ideas

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