The benefits of forest school in the winter are numerous and varied, and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. Here are just a few of the many benefits of participating in forest school activities during the colder months:
Outdoor exercise and movement: Being outside in the winter can be a great way for kids to get some much-needed exercise and movement. When children are cooped up inside for long periods of time, they may become restless and less active. By participating in forest school activities, kids can burn off excess energy and get the physical activity that they need to stay healthy and happy.
Fresh air and natural light: Spending time outside in the winter can be especially beneficial for kids because it allows them to get some fresh air and natural light. Exposure to natural light has been shown to improve mood, sleep patterns, and overall health. Additionally, breathing in fresh air can help to clear the mind and boost energy levels.
Increased focus and concentration: When children are outside in nature, they are often more focused and attentive to their surroundings. This can be especially helpful for kids who struggle with attention deficit disorders or other conditions that affect focus and concentration. Participating in forest school activities can help kids to develop better focus and concentration skills, which can be beneficial in many areas of life.
Social skills and teamwork: Forest school activities often involve group participation, which can be a great way for kids to socialize and work together as a team. By participating in activities with others, kids can learn how to communicate, share, and collaborate. These are important skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Development of fine motor skills: Many forest school activities involve the use of small muscles in the hands, wrists, and fingers. This can be a great way for kids to develop their fine motor skills and coordination. This is especially important for younger children who are still developing these skills.
Creativity and problem-solving: Many forest school activities involve an element of creativity and problem-solving. For example, kids might be asked to build a shelter out of natural materials, or create a way to cross a stream without getting wet. These types of activities can help kids to think creatively and develop their problem-solving skills.
Appreciation for the natural world: Participating in forest school activities can help kids to develop an appreciation for the natural world and the environment. By exploring the outdoors and learning about the plants and animals that live there, kids can gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the world around them.
Sense of accomplishment: Participating in forest school activities can give kids a sense of accomplishment and pride in their achievements. For example, if a child builds a shelter or completes a difficult hike, they will likely feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their accomplishment. This can be especially beneficial for kids who struggle with self-esteem or confidence.
Stress reduction: Being in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Participating in forest school activities can help kids to reduce stress and feel more relaxed and at ease. This can be especially beneficial for kids who struggle with anxiety or other mental health issues.
Fun and enjoyment: Perhaps most importantly, forest school activities are simply a lot of fun! Kids will enjoy exploring the outdoors, playing games, and participating in activities that challenge them and keep them engaged.
Now that we've explored some of the benefits of forest school in the winter, let's take a look at some ideas for cold weather activities that are suitable for children from 2 to 10 years old:
Winter tree identification: Children can learn to identify different types of trees in the winter by looking at their bark, shape, and any remaining leaves or fruit.
Winter scavenger hunt: Children can search for natural objects in the forest such as pinecones, acorns, or branches with berries.
Snow painting: Children can mix food colouring with water and use it to paint pictures on the snow.
Building a shelter: Children can work together to build a shelter out of natural materials found in the forest, such as branches, leaves, and pinecones.
Winter birdwatching: Children can learn to identify different types of birds that visit the forest in the winter and make a list of the ones they see.
Snowball fights: Children can have fun throwing snowballs at each other in a safe and controlled manner.
Snowman building: Children can work together to build a snowman using sticks, stones, and other natural materials found in the forest.
Sledding: If there is a hill in the forest, children can go sledding or make their own sleds out of natural materials.
Winter storytelling: Children can gather around a campfire (with adult supervision) and take turns telling winter-themed stories.
Nature crafts: Children can collect natural materials from the forest and use them to make crafts, such as pinecone bird feeders or leaf rubbings
Greenways is out and about in all weathers! For more information and to book click here