The EYFS states children should be given the opportunity to “observe, talk about and ask questions about aspects of their natural world such as plants, animals, natural and found objects where better to do this than Forest School. It is exciting to see children being curious and exploring the natural environment.
Children enjoy playing outdoors whatever the weather. They are able to explore, stimulate the senses, use imagination, improve fitness, develop muscle strength and co-ordination as well as benefiting from the fresh air.
There are endless opportunities for learning across all 7 areas of the EYFS.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Children are generally less inhibited outdoors. They appear more absorbed, motivated and willing to have a go, as well as talk and share ideas.
Movement is one of the key vehicles for learning alongside play, talk and sensory experiences. Giving children space to run, jump, climb, dig and crawl not only strengthens bones and muscles but builds confidence and a sense of independence.
COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE
Stimulating experiences naturally provided outdoors motivate children to talk therefore developing their confidence in speaking and listening skills.
Children love to collect twigs and branches which can be used for mark making and writing letters. Scavenger hunts can promote letter and word recognition.
Counting conkers, comparing lengths, observing shapes or stepping out distance are all fun activities.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
Outdoors is natures’ classroom, there is an infinite list of what children can learn – the weather, the seasons, growth, habitats, life cycles, light and dark to name but a few.