View Full Version : Forest school childminding?

25-06-2012, 01:32 PM
Does any of you have/operate?(I don't know which word to use:o) a forest school as part of your practice? I mean apart from the occasional walk in the woods, like a regular weekly or even daily thing. If so I would love some inspiration and ideas.:)

25-06-2012, 01:46 PM
I don't but it is something I am interested in finding out more about so am interested in replies! I got sent info about a training day but I can't go on it this year so am hoping they will repeat it.
We do have a preschool locally that does it, but the day they open it up as a playgroup to anyone really doesn't fit in with my mindees arriving so have not yet managed to get there :( Is there anywhere like this near you that you could access?

25-06-2012, 02:29 PM
I looked into doing some official training but there was none locally and it seemed really expensive. We have two nature reserves within walking distance near us though that we go to at least twice a week. These are the things we do.....

- collect leaves, acorns, etc as a treasure hunt
- colour matching - get those paint match things from DIY shops
- building dens from sticks
- bird spotting
- listening walks
- general running and playing in trees - hide and seek etc
- footprint spotting
- puddle jumping
- pond dipping

http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/schools/forest_schools.htm has quite a lot of ideas on too.

25-06-2012, 02:31 PM
sorry forgot... we also take clipboards with pens and paper on so they can do little drawings whilst we are there and things like bark rubbing, leaf rubbing etc.

oooo and they love playing Pooh sticks on the little bridge!

25-06-2012, 02:32 PM
sorry keep thinking of things.... they also like to take pictures using the camera whilst we are there.

25-06-2012, 03:44 PM
The forest schools and training I know of you need a car to get to and i don't drive, so unfortunately not an option. We spend most of our days outside and I also love taking them to the local National Trust and just generally follow what they find interesting and what we find on the way. I only have toddlers apart from my own 3yo, so a lot of the activities you can find on naturedetectives etc. they are not quite ready for yet. I was wondering if there are any childminders wh,o like the forest pre-schools I know of, spend one day a week in the forest.
I saw a couple of books on Amazon that looked interesting, so think I might buy them and hope to get some more ideas. I saw one website (insideout I think it was) which does a course just for childminders, but again it is nowhere near me.
What would be great is finding a group of local childminders and meet up in the forest once a week. I think I might ask around, if anyone would be interested in doing that. I am just not sure if the childminders I know has quite the same passion for the outdoors as me:(. Worth a try though.:)

jaswinder bedi
25-06-2012, 03:46 PM
Hi forest school is usually done by school. Perhaps it's definitely knowledge Nd understanding the world. Talking about the texture, weather, also fun bit is finding insects, listening birds singing, looking at the different kinds of flowers And leaves. You could take plastic bag get some collection and do some gluing activity. Don't forget your camera!!!! Good luck with it.:thumbsup:

25-06-2012, 04:00 PM
Thank you!
I grew up in Denmark, where nurseries and childminders are outside most of the day. I have had a look at some Danish childminders' websites which have given me some great ideas.
I still like the idea of meeting up with other childminders in the forest regularly. Or somewhere a bit 'wild'. My nephew, in Denmark, spent a day with his nursery in a field that had just been plowed (is that the right word?) playing with the big chunks of soil. They had permission from he farmer:).

25-06-2012, 04:44 PM
Hi Trine,
I'm very interested in all aspects of 'Scandinavian' childcare especially the amount of time they spend outside. My 5 year old daughter's reception teacher is forest school leader for the school so I will ask her the best route to take, although the other posters have given lots of great ideas. I don't suppose it's necessary to have a qualification though if you have an interest. It's certainly a good unique selling point for prospective parents.

25-06-2012, 06:25 PM
Thank you nipper, I look forward to hear what she says.
I guess you are right, a qualification doesn't have to be necessary, I might have to just do my own research.

25-06-2012, 08:37 PM
I recently went on a course at Huddersfield early excellence centre about international perspective on outdoor learning given by Jan white. She has some great tips on her fb page. We studied Denmark, Sweden, Australia and Scotland. If you google mindstretchers you will find the Scottish kindergarten. They have training courses and tours that im hoping to go on in August(mini holiday!)
We try to go out everyday into the woods, a walk in the hills through streams etc. The los get so much out of it. My age range at the moment is 18mths to 4 years so adapt activities accordingly. :D

25-06-2012, 09:01 PM
I had a look on mindstretchers before - absolutely love their resources. Unfortunately their courses were all far away when I last looked, but I will have another look. Thank you!:)

25-06-2012, 09:09 PM
Looked at Jan White. Looks interesting. I will have another look when I have a bit more time.

26-06-2012, 06:18 AM
I worked at preschool before starting to cm , and whilst there we set up Forest school to run 2 out of 5 sessions a week. At the time it was relatively new to this country , and we had all sorts of issues with insurance and especially Ofsted - first they said they needed a 'building' to inspect - then said they wouldnt visit during our 'trips' - no theyre not trips they are a huge part of our practice ,then inspector turned up in heels! We won a few awards and things , and other ey providers in the area still come to train.
http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/713602/Woodland-wonders/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH ( very glad they dont have photos in the archive , I looked so attractive with rain dripping off my nose!)

The whole ethos is very much what I have carried forward into childminding. parents are aware from the start that we spend a large proportion of our time outdoors , especially in the forest , in all weathers. Some parents have been wholly on board , others have needed a little reassurance , others have clearly not had a clue what i was talking about and still look a little shocked when their darling is muddy on collection! Soon becomes clear though!
we can cover every area of the eyfs and usually everyones individual needs and next steps. we do the same as we would do indoors but a little more creatively - we mark make using sticks instead of pens - we snuggle up together under a tree for storytelling , we sort cones and stones into size order......
http://outdoormatters.co.uk/article-all-about-outdoors-for-under-threes/ is a good place to start - but just go with the flow , the childrens own preferences and next steps , and let them lead. The outdoors will usually magnify their enthusiasm no end.

26-06-2012, 11:28 AM
Thank you Kath, very inspiring. I will have a proper look at the articles tonight. Thanks again!