What is Mini-Forestlings?

This is a Forest School programme for pre-school children, adopting the true Forest School Ethos. Your children will be provided with the opportunity to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experience of nature. Our role as adults is to take a step back and allow children to take ownership of their play and learning. They are then able to discover their own interests and take managed risks.

What is the format of the Mini-Forestling sessions?

Freedom to choose where and how they play is a vital part of children’s development. When children are in ‘flow’ (completely absorbed in an activity they are doing), it is important we are able to give them the time and space they need to continue without adult interruption or interference. Of course, we will always be close by to keep the little ones safe and scaffold their learning if appropriate.

Forest School takes place on a weekly basis. The children are then able to develop their self-esteem and confidence in the natural world over an extended period of time, encompassing all seasons and weathers. Drinks and a snack are always offered mid-way through the session. There is also chance for them to come together at the end of the session to share what they have made, found and learnt!

What might the children do at Mini-Forestlings?

The opportunities available to children at Forest School are limitless. They will be able to climb trees, make dens, play in the mud kitchen, measure, weigh, collect, sort, swing, create natural art, play, splash in our stream, paint with natural ingredients, learn about the seasons, bug hunt and lots, lots more. The children will be having so much fun they won’t even realise they are learning!

There will be some activities set out for your child to take part in if they wish. The sessions are child-led however, so we try to react to the children’s interests on the day they attend. If they don’t want to do the prepared activity and would rather do their own thing that is absolutely fine!

What will children learn at Mini-Forestlings?

We hope that the children, over the course of the sessions, will learn how to manage risks and that they will grow in confidence and self-esteem. They will learn how to share and take turns, take pride in their achievements as they make, create, explore and play.

When a child is making something the focus is on the process of making/constructing/

assembling rather than the end result. Children will be encouraged to complete small, achievable tasks.

Whilst at Mini-Forestlings it is likely that your child will begin developing the sorts of personal qualities that provide the foundations for a happy and healthy childhood: resourcefulness, motivation, resilience, critical thinking, persistence, determination, curiosity, humour, enthusiasm, empathy and self-discipline to name a few.

The cost is £7.50 per child per session. We look forward to seeing you there!

Stay and Play Outdoor Learning Session

New to Step-Out Ashford for Summer of 2023 we will be offering a one off Stay-and-Play Holiday session for pre-schoolers and their adult (you can also book in older, primary school aged children). This session will follow the ethos of our Mini-Forestlings sessions, but as it is a one-off session, it is not considered a “forest school” programme.

If you are looking for a fun day out for you and your children over the summer holidays this is the session for you. It is also a great opportunity to come and see what Mini-Forestlings is like before singing up for a full programme.