Woodland Play Sessions
Its exciting to be coming to the end of one journey and the start of another. Starting next month (October 2016) we plan to deliver Woodland Play Sessions at Gargunnock Playgroup. The long journey of planning and developing these sessions is coming to an end and the new exciting path of delivering and developing these sessions about to start.
Over the last few years, and particularly since commencing study for my BA in Childhood Practice, I’ve become more and more enthusiastic about the benefits of outdoor learning. Forest Kindergarten training last year consolidated this and allowed me to see the benefits in practice. Huge developments in our playgroup garden allowed me to bring many aspects of outdoor learning into our setting and, working with Louisa and parents, we have worked towards providing free flow indoor and outdoor play at every session.
Now, we have taken the huge step of moving from our playgroup garden into a woodland area at Gargunnock House which we have been fortunate to have visited often over the years. For one week every month we will be immersed in nature and our aim is to provide challenge and excitement and to develop curiosity, imagination and creativity as well as fostering empathy and respect for our natural environment. Our children will benefit from experiences which naturally offer risk developing confidence, self esteem and resilience.
These benefits of outdoor play are increasingly being recognised as significantly beneficial to children’s learning and development and we are delighted to be one of the first playgroups in our area to offer this type of experience.
An open parents meeting on Saturday was held successfully in torrential rain, proving that the weather won’t stop play. The children loved guddling in the burn, I think it became a competition to see who could get the wettest, we had a tarpaulin up for some shelter and hot chocolate and biscuits for snack. The adults were all enthused, motivated and excited to see our woodland play site. As an early years worker it gives me tremendous pleasure to see parents so actively engaged in being involved and helping to make this happen. Its been a busy road and there is a long journey ahead but, what an adventure.