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Since winning the National 18th NMT Forest school of the Year Award 2020 last November, we wanted to extend our outdoor skills to share and involve parents and children at KIdzrus Forest School  On Friday 28th January we invited our parents to take part in a KIdzrus Forest School Great Outdoor Learning Session with Naomi our fantastic forest school leader. Our aims were to provide parents with guidance and support on the different learning opportunities they can offer to their children in the natural environment outside of Nursery.

The session started with Naomi and Stacey introducing herself to the parents and explaining the benefits and learning endless learning opportunities at KIdzrus Forest School and our aims for the session. These sessions are accessible by parents of children from varying ages.

Following the introductions we all got our wellies and wet weather gear on and went down to the forest area adjacent to our nursery. On the walk down Naomi explained all the different areas the children regularly explore and the different activities which we participate. She pointed out troll bridge where the children like to re-enact the Billy Goats Gruff story and also dinosaur mountain where the children create their own imaginative play.

Each parent was given a bag containing a colour matching activity. Naomi explained that this activity enables children to go and explore the environment and when they spot a natural resource they clip the correct colour card to the item using pegs. This activity provides children with opportunities to learn the names of different flowers and grasses which in turn evolves into another activity based on what the children are interested in i.e. insects which live amongst the grass and plants and their lifecycles, which supports our “in the moment” planning ethos.

Whilst out exploring the forest area the children were able to show their parents the den area they created using the whittling technique and also have fun on the rope swing, the parents had more fun than the children!

After showing the parents our wonderful forest area we trooped back to nursery splashing through muddy puddles and long swishy grass. Naomi and Stacey then set up the firepit and explained to the parents that we have safety rules to which the preschool children told their parents how they have to sit at the firepit and not run around as we don’t want anyone to get hurt. The children helped to toast some apples and make some yummy raspberry leaf tea for their mummies and daddies to drink.

We had some lovely feedback from our parents who joined us. They were all really excited to actually come into nursery and participate in some hands-on learning experiences following the restrictions we have had to endure. We also had some parents comment that they were really excited to see what their younger children will be involved in when they progress into the outdoor preschool environment.  We even had one parent offer to help maintain the forest area with his strimmer which is fabulous and we are very appreciative.

The outdoor parent session was a huge hit with everybody. We fully enjoyed hosting the session and hope to announce our next date very soon!

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