What is forest school for kids?

Everyone’s talking about forest school.  What’s the story? 

The concept of ‘forest school’ originated in Scandinavia.  In fact the term is slightly misleading; it isn’t necessarily a school and it isn’t even necessarily held in a forest!  ‘Forest school’ is used to refer to a range of activities with an outdoor aspect.  It could be a playgroup held in the woods; it could be a Bushcraft club in the park; it could even refer to a school with a largely outdoor syllabus.  OUR Forest School for kids is a dedicated outdoor day-camp based at Holiday Academy in London.

Last year, research found that forest school improves children’s capacity for team work, and helps to reduce the pressure of achievement.  We think it’s a great way to harness their natural curiosity and keep them active all day long!

We love Forest School!

It’s grown over the years; parents and children loved the Forest School activities at Holiday Academy so much that we now run a devoted Forest School for kids who love getting out.  Every school holiday we run two holiday camps: a multi-activity programme on our premises in London, and a children’s Forest School programme that gets out into the wild! 

London children may have less access to outdoor wilderness than some kids.  But if you look hard enough you’ll find plenty… 

Our children’s Forest School camp is held at Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill Park and Regent’s Park (dependent on day and age – contact us if you’d like to know the plan for a given date).   The first order of every day is establishing a base camp and building a shelter, equipped with tarpaulins in case of rain.  (Don’t worry – we have a contingency plan for very bad weather!)

Children’s forest school activities

Forest School is traditionally chilled-out and focused on process, not results.  Whether we’re sliding in mud or fishing for newts, it may look like we’re simply having fun but don’t worry… we’re definitely learning something. 

Our Forest School camp is rich in real-life experience and always diverse.  It includes key Forest School skills – learning to use tools (and safety rules like the ‘blood circle’), how to build an effective shelter, the basics of fire-starting, and some outdoor cooking (which always tastes better than it does indoors).   It’s an opportunity to get close to nature and observe more than we usually would; we will climb trees and set off on nature hunts, all of which gives the kids a better appreciation of the natural world.  We encourage parents to bring kids for a whole week, which allows the group dynamic to develop; as we become comfortable together, we are better at working as a team and giving one another the space to flourish.  (There’s also the fact that the kids won’t want to stop after just ONE day of Forest School!)

Forest School for kids every school holiday

You can book now for the October half term (Junior Forest School for 3-6yrs and Senior for 6yrs+).  Book as many or as few days as you’d like.  If you’d like to keep it in mind for a future school holiday, join our Mailing List.  We will email you updates about the Holiday Academy programme and children’s Forest School, and we will remind you when bookings are open.  What are you waiting for?