Every week we visit a local woods/park area to explore and investigate.......
Forest Childcare is about giving small children the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors on a regular basis. Outdoor play and outings contribute to learning and health, and most importantly help children grow to appreciate the natural environment.
As childminders we are in an ideal position to provide weekly outdoor outings, whether these are simple trips to the park, duck pond, and urban green spaces, or planned trips to our local ‘wild’ areas like woods and nature reserves. We can offer the children we look after the positive outdoor experiences that they may otherwise miss out on.
We are very lucky to have Close Park on our doorstep and also have a choice of woodland surrounding us.
It is encouraged that wherever children live, they need to spend time outdoors. Being outdoors gives children and the adults who look after them untold benefits in terms of health and wellbeing. The Statutory Framework for the EYFS states that ‘providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure that outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example unsafe weather conditions).’
Forest Childcare is founded on the principle that once a week small children should be given the opportunity to spend time in outdoor places by being taken on outings to parks, fields, play grounds, woodland areas, forests and wild spaces so that they can learn to appreciate the natural environment. As childminders we are in an excellent position to provide small children with these types of experiences .
There are 5 main principles for Forest Childcare that we have agreed to and follow......
1. The Forest Childcare Provider takes the children to an outdoor environment normally once a week.
2. Forest Childcare outings are made as safe as is reasonably possible by the childcare provider while encouraging children to learn to take their own risks.
3. Forest Childcare outings are taken all year long, so children go outside whatever the weather.
4. The Forest Childcare Provider offers a mixture of planned and child-led play activities to the children.
5. The Forest Childcare Provider is first aid certified.