We've developed a Forest Kindergarten programme across Central Scotland, to promote woodlands as a play and learning environment for young children.
Forest Kindergartens give children the chance to play regularly in local woodland or natural settings. This programme operates all year round and in most weather.
Young children learn most effectively through play experiences. During outdoor sessions, they’re free to play, explore, have fun and learn.
Forest Kindergarten is child-centred. Sessions are led by the creativity, imagination and problem solving skills of the learner. Staff extend learning through thoughtful interactions, materials, resources and other appropriate support.
Using local woodlands or outdoor green space for play and learning can help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence.
What are the benefits?
Forest Kindergarten connects children with the natural world, leading to long term environmental awareness and understanding. It has many benefits, including:
- it’s suitable for all learning styles;
- it provides a stimulating environment; and
- it helps children thrive and learn through a real life context.
Sessions positively impact:
- physical, cognitive, social and emotional development;
- health and wellbeing; and
- self-esteem and confidence.
Our training programme is for staff and teachers delivering early level Curriculum for Excellence in Central Scotland. It helps them to set up regular Forest Kindergarten sessions in a nearby woodland area. This consists of:
- a one-day taster for heads and nursery managers; and
- a three-day course for nursery teachers and early years practitioners.
The courses help staff embed Forest Kindergarten in their Pre-Birth to Three, and Curriculum for Excellence practice.
To find out more about Forest Kindergarten, visit Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland (OWL Scotland)