Our Tops Forest Schools are now being run in a number of our nurseries and are proving to be a great success! Children have been pond dipping, den making, leaf collecting and boat building in the great outdoors, whilst learning new skills and getting some great experiences outside.
The team at Tops Poole have been using new games to help support the children develop skills when out on their trips. The children are given pieces of coloured felt and are encouraged to colour match objects as they walk through the forest, keeping them alert and focused on what is around them. They also have a favourite simple game ‘Fox, fire, flood’ which gets children engaged, listening to the sounds around them and interacting with their peers as they follow instructions.
The children at Tops Charminster are really enjoying their Tops Forest School and the experiences being offered. The children get a say in where they go on their forest school, and recently visited a waterfall. They enjoyed spending time building boats to race down the stream, using the new skills they have learnt at forest school.
One of the children at Tops Forest School said: “Forest school is cool! I like it and I like the pretty trees.”
The children from Tops Parkstone have taken part in a large variety of activities, learning new skills. They have been den building, leaf collecting, making nature collages and have discovered and explored the some of the local hidden beauties in nature.
But it’s not just the forest school part that is enjoyable. Stephanie Walker, Tops Parkstone nursery manger commented: “One of the exciting aspects for the children is that they get to travel on public buses, which they enjoy. The children eagerly participate in paying for the adults tickets and talk about what they can see on the way to forest school. This builds up the anticipation for the main event.”
Why do we run our Tops Forest Schools? We believe in the importance of adding to the rich tapestry of opportunities for children within nursery as the broader and more diverse their experiences, the wider their appetite for learning.
We strive to support practitioners in being inspirational and create moments infused with that same quality, because we can show our children just how beautiful the world really is.
Our Tops Forest Schools have provided us with:
- A rich supply of resources and materials
- Chances for staff to observe the children in a different surrounding
- An alternative to our over reliance on digital and electronic sources for recreation, learning and socialising
- An opportunity to become fitter and healthier
- Participants learn to recognise and assess risks for themselves
Tops Forest Schools embrace the outdoors as an inspirational learning environment focused on the child’s learning needs and processes rather than a specific outcome. As the children interact and experience the natural world their confidence and self-esteem bloom as they learn new skills through hands-on experiences. The environment stimulates the use of descriptive language, mathematical problem solving, calculating and taking acceptable risks working towards a personal reward.
Benefits of our Tops Forest Schools include:
Healthier bodies: increased frequency of physical exercise, a challenging environment that helps to develop motor skills.
Healthier minds: an opportunity to be sociable and also to have time alone. Space and resources are naturally available allowing individuals or groups to investigate and problem solve. Personal motivation, a willingness to try new tasks and the ability to persist at tasks increases.
Healthier environment: an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment through experience, how we affect our surroundings.
Healthier future: Children develop determination to complete tasks; they learn to work together as a team communicating effectively.
For more information on Tops Forest Schools please ask at the nursery. We would love for you to join us!