Our weekly Forest Friday sessions started almost by accident in January 2012. Originally they were set up to cater for small friends who missed out on a Forest session in school, the sessions soon proved beneficial both to them and us; so we started to invite other parents and their pre school children to join us. The sessions are very informal with adults taking collective responsibility for ensuring the children are happy and occupied.
The impact on the group, that has swollen to almost twenty, has been overwhelmingly positive. We knew in theory that outdoor learning could benefit children, parents, families, volunteers and the wider community, but seeing this in action has been amazing. At the sessions children explore the outdoors within a safe environment, have time to play, inititate their own activities, mix with others or spend time on their own. Adults facilitate an interest in and respect for nature and the environment. Whilst building supportive relationships with each other, we share food, stories and songs.