A recent study by the National Trust found that children spend half the amount of time playing outside that their parents did. The benefits of being outdoors are enormous, and not just outdoors on the playground, but outdoors in a natural environment. That is why, at Brabyns in the Early Years, we prioritise the opportunities that children have for exploring their natural surroundings.
Every week, in Reception, we undertake a Forest Activities session for a full afternoon. The children will often have the opportunity to explore nearby woodland or park areas as well as the natural environments around the School site. This gives them freedom to explore space and have time to think. Activities such as walking to the woods, climbing hills, clambering over tree roots and running through the bushes obviously benefits physical health but it also has a profound effect on children’s mental health.
The Early Years Curriculum places importance on children understanding the natural world, being able to see similarities and differences, patterns and changes over time. What better way than to witness this in person across the year as the weather and the seasons change in a woodland or park that becomes an extension of the classroom.
See some more pictures of our recent woodland learning here.
Miss Evans, Reception Teacher