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New book helps parents find fun activities to do outdoors with their kids


PLAY THE FOREST SCHOOL WAY
Woodland Games And Crafts For Adventurous Kids

By Peter Houghton & Jane Worroll

17 May 2016 - Trade Paperback - $16.95


Help your child connect with nature, be adventurous and most of all have fun, with these woodland games, crafts and other activities from Forest School.

The rise of the Forest School movement in recent years is part of a groundswell of concern about the wellbeing of our children, with many media scare stories about child obesity, ‘nature deficit disorder' (as described in Last Child in the Woods) and lack of exposure to risk. This woodland adventure book brings the activities and ‘learning through nature’ ethos of Forest School to the parents of nursery and primary school-age children.

It’s packed full of ideas, from making nature jewellery and whittling a bow and arrow to building a shelter and foraging for food; it also celebrates the Forest School philosophy of encouraging self-esteem, confidence and social skills through engagement with nature.

As well as sharing Forest School’s brilliant ideas for activities, this book encourages parents to follow aspects of the Forest School approach in the way they handle play sessions; in, for example, getting adults to engage actively while being careful to let the kids lead; in framing sessions with small rituals. Activity variations target different age groups, and there are ideas for small groups (for play dates, for example, or children’s birthday parties) as well as things to do with just one or two children.

While the book is aimed at parents, who are encouraged to guide the play, the activity instructions are written in a simple style so that children can read them too, and the illustrations are also intended to be enjoyed by children. With a fun, child friendly design, this book offers an immersive experience for all the family. The book is designed to be robust enough to withstand outdoor handling while also being attractive as a gift for ‘green’ parents, with charming illustrations and a retro design that together create a magical feel and chime with the ‘back-to-nature’ content

Peter Houghton is a qualified Level 3 Forest School leader, running Forest School sessions in a variety of settings with Jane Worroll. At Kids Company, which provided practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people, he worked as an artist (in woodwork as well as construction, pottery, electronics and other media) and a key worker, leading a weekly Forest School session with school-age children. He is qualified and experienced in historical and ornamental woodcarving and in green woodwork.

Jane Worroll has worked outdoors for the majority of her adult life, in gardening, tree surgery and, for 12 years, as a Countryside Ranger, a role that included habitat management, monitoring protected species and leading volunteers. She has a degree in ecology and an Msc in environmental conservation.