Outdoor Learning Forest School Activities

Embrace nature in a child-centred learning environment with Forest School lessons at your school. The Forest School Association (FSA) has been working to bring their ethos of hands-on learning and independence building in the fresh air in the UK since 1993. Joining in with the FSA to explore this unique approach to learning and play can help promote and build self-esteem and confidence while gifting kids a fun and special experience connecting with the natural world in new ways.

If you are inspired by our ideas about Forest Schools or bring any of our recommendations to your school, let us know! Send your pictures and videos to our Instagram Page.

Sign on a fence reading: “Welcome to Forest School

Why you Should get Involved with Forest School Activities

Here at the School Playground Company, we wholeheartedly promote the benefits of outdoor play and education. An active and inventive approach to learning and socialisation is important for the healthy development of children from a young age and throughout primary school.

Forest School teaches new lessons to the educational system, encouraging a level of independence not seen in typical classrooms. Alongside normal lessons, regular sessions outdoors of holistic learning progressing at the student’s own pace of learning are great for the development of self-confidence and resilience in young children that helps them in all areas of schooling and outside life.

Schools can join the FSA officially to become a recognised forest school provider, but any school can also incorporate aspects of this learning form into their learning curriculum. Holding outdoor lessons emphasising exploration and creativity outside the typical classroom environment, or even just providing safe and accessible nature play, active play and messy play toys and apparatus for students to use during break times can help nurture these same benefits.

Den Building Activities & Embracing Nature

Bringing the forest to urban schools with limited access to the natural world, our Den Building Kits provide the basis for a collaborative creative process for kids to enjoy. The act of den building is a form of sensory and creative play that explores risk and challenges as kids work together to overcome obstacles in the construction process.

Our Den Building Kits include leaf camouflage netting and wooden, built-to-purpose struts with a range of different ways to secure and personalise the den structure. This Forest School Equipment encourages healthy development by harnessing the benefits of natural play, bringing a unique and special experience of teamwork and fun.

Children underneath a Den from our Den Building Kit

Den Building Kits bring together the practical physical side of forest school learning in a safe environment. Learning to appreciate the natural world and how to build their own structures together as a team to inspire the uptake of knowledge and teamwork skills.

Messy Play Activities and Other Forest School Ideas

Water play equipment and other sensory messy play areas such as playground kitchens or gardens are great places to encourage independent learning inspired by forest learning principles.

The FSA recommends their type of learning as beneficial to neuro-divergent children especially. Traditional school environments can struggle to fully support the learning and development of all students, so a varied approach can be useful.

Sensory play experiences and tactile games are important for all children to develop independence, communication, and fine motor skills, but can be particularly engaging for children with autism or learning disabilities. By bringing sensory experiences into the natural world of forest learning, messy play ideas like water play, sandpits, and mud kitchens create a space for creativity and independence that all kids can enjoy and learn from.

Our top forest school activities include:

  • Den building design challenge- Groups of students compete to see who can build the most stable or aesthetically attractive shelters.
  • Stick and leaf art- Collect natural materials to create amazing and creative pictures inspired by the local environment.
  • Water wall play- Using water play equipment position piping and guttering to direct water towards a target. This can be an individual activity or a teamwork challenge with each child holding one end of guttering each.
  • Tree rubbings- Discover the wonders of nature with crayons and paper to identify different bark patterns in different trees in the local area.
  • Art and drawing– A non-directed sensory creative experience for outdoor school art classes, students can draw outdoors when inspired by nature on giant whiteboards or chalkboard play panels.
  • Weaving practice- Using weaving craft play panels, students develop fine motor skills and learn useful creative skills.

Prepare your School Playground for Winter Weather with the School Playground

Introduce Forest School Activities on the playground with help from our wide range of sensory play, messy play, and nature play equipment. Get in touch with our team by booking an appointment or getting a quick quote from our contact page.

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