Every week, for two hours, children come to Forest School with their own personalities, experiences and stories. Once immersed into the natural space, children are invited to pull experience after experience from it, intuiting what to do. Play is what drives their learning.
Children are encouraged to listen to the natural world with all of their senses and follow what they desire - listen to the birds or the crunch of snow, feel the warmth of the sun or the coolness of a worm, smell the trees or the smoke of the fire.
Forest School often begins with a group meeting, allowing children a voice to share their ideas for the session, giving momentum, while the educator has a rough outline for the day in mind built on previous sessions. With plans made and ideas expressed, the exploring can begin. Each day is different; tasks and initiatives can span days, weeks, or months depending on where children lead themselves and the group.
Often, when asked about what they did at Forest School, children will reply “we don’t do anything, we just play.” The children, through their deep immersion in the experiences of the forest, sometimes don’t realize the connections they are making with the natural world. It is through their play that we can help children view nature as an extension of themselves, as a critical part of their lives and world.