For years we have been selling climbing frames and singing the praises of outdoor play. There are huge physical benefits to getting children out of the house and out of their comfort zone and it would seem that people are realising the great outdoors can also have huge educational benefits. The concept of Forest Schools is a Scandinavian one which focuses on nature and movement as a means of aiding child development.
Leaving stuffy and overheated classrooms behind offers children the chance to put learning into context. They have tangible objects and situations they can relate their learning. It may seem like a slightly scary concept to those who, quite understandably, equate learning with classrooms, pens and paper. However Forest Schools can improve children’s social skills, concentration, health, initiative and independence, considerably.
Lessons take place 36 weeks of the year for 1-2 hours at a time. A big part of the lessons is to introduce children to risk. Today’s world is one which children are wrapped in cotton wool and warned of the dangers of almost everything. Why venture out into the big bad world when they can sit comfortably in the safety of their own home and live a virtual life through technology? Forest Schools (and our climbing frames )work to combat this and encourage things like climbing trees. Climbing trees teaches the concept of meeting a challenge head on and overcoming it. Children learn a sense of achievement and ambition.
Here is a short video on what Forest schools actually are:
Do your children attend Forest Schools? What are your thoughts on them?