A small group of parents and nursery staff at Portland House enjoyed an exciting woodland adventure where they were able to experience some of the activities delivered to pre-school children during their woodland sessions. The aim of the workshop was to provide a wide range of outdoor experiences for parent/carers to share with their children at home and to promote risky play within the natural environment, whilst recognising dangers and learning how to safeguard children. The morning session began with a group discussion about how to keep ourselves safe in the woods and involved recognising certain leaves and berries that may harm us if eaten or touched.
As the session continued the group was enthusiastic and tuned into their inner child using creative, imaginative and physical skills to build dens, join in group challenges, hunt for treasure and learn new skills, such as stick whittling and cooking on a fire. Group challenges included building a fairy den according to a specific characteristic e.g. a shy fairy. The activity encouraged the teams to share sustained thinking, use critical thinking skills and to use appropriate questioning techniques when guessing the characteristics of other fairies. Fun was had by everyone searching for hidden clues to find the basket of treasure and the individual groups became quite competitive. Other experiences included creating crowns, masks and story sticks using natural materials and story fun in a pop up tent. The session ended with everyone gathering round the camp fire to sing the woodland song. An imaginary story was created by the whole group centered around each individual’s special thing found in the woods during the session.
It was a successful morning, everyone had fun and the feedback was very positive e.g. ‘I can’t wait to try out some of these ideas with my little boy’ and ‘Great fun, can we have more of it please?’