The Great Outdoors

Nature offers ever changing opportunities to learn and explore. Each month offers its own magic. Our children will be able to see, feel and smell the seasons change through engagement with the trees, butterflies, and animals. They will see the morning dew on the grass, have leaf-crunching fun in Autumn, feel the crisp Winter and the freshness of Spring.

We want to assure you that your child is not only happy, healthy and secure at Little Forest Folk, but also that they are constantly learning. An innovative new tool in education, secure “On-line Learning Journals” will be used to record, upload photos and comments each day. Parents can log-in to the secure portal at any time during the day and see their child’s activities and happy, smiling faces!

To assure both you and ourselves that the children are comfortable and happy at all times, we will provide appropriate outdoor clothing for your children as part of your registration fee. ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only badclothing’ – an old Scandinavian proverb. We will also provide your children with a washable ‘treasure bag’ and will provide you with seasonal clothing suggestions and a kit list so your children are perfectly prepared to have fun outdoors!

The Benefits of Outdoor Play

In recent decades there has been a shift towards an overly indoor and sedentary lifestyle. This has contributed to rapidly rising childhood obesity and increasing behavioural problems in young children today, in addition to a lack of awareness about the natural world and the wonders it holds. According to a 2008 National Trust survey, fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places. One in three children could not identify a magpie, half could not tell the difference between a bee and a wasp, yet nine out of ten could recognise a Dalek.

Children who play and learn outdoors develop fitness, agility, coordination,tactile sensitivity, and depth perception. Their ability to assess risks improves.Your child has significantly less chance of catching the litany of coughs and colds that plague London’s toddlers from October to March when playing outdoors. Not only are there less breeding grounds for illnesses, the more time children spend outdoors, the stronger their immune system becomes and the healthier they will be. Creative play develops a sense of freedom, independence and innerstrength. It nurtures lifelong positive attitudes about nature.

Sir David Attenborough himself has written to us encouraging our concept and the importance of reconnecting children with nature. The current disconnect between children and nature threatens not only our children’s physical and mental health but also the future safeguarding of the natural world.

Learning

Our curriculum develops these core competencies through fun outdoor play:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Physical Development
  • Expressive arts and design

Numbers and counting are encouraged by looking at trees and birds. Shapes and colours are aided by leaves and feathers. Nature is explored using water, air and earth. There will be a weather station to help children learn about the climate and to read instruments to improve numeracy.


Play is the primary mechanism through which children engage and connect with the world, and natural environments are particularly attractive, inspiring and satisfying for kids. Something magical occurs when children and wild spaces mix.
— Dr Martin Maudsley
Play Development Officer for Playwork Partnerships