Tots and Home-ed
Come and join us for some outdoor woodland fun.
Weekly Forest School Groups.
Socially distanced, child led, outdoor sessions where you stay within your family group during the session.
Tots is suitable for 18m ish (confident walking) to 4 years ish, before going to reception year.
Home Ed group is for school age children aged 5 plus, up to about 12 ish.
Every week there will be a range of nature based activities that the children can enjoy from natural crafts, rope swings, camp fires, to our lovely mud kitchen and water play wall.
Sessions take place in all weathers apart from lighting storms or high winds. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring changes of clothes and shoes for everyone. We often have water or mud play.
We follow the Forest School Ethos. If you would like to know more, please click the Forest Schools tab above.
Update as of 4th January 2021
We have paused all our groups during the current lockdown.
We have transferred all bookings for January and early February on to the next block, hopefully after February half term, from 22 feb onwards. This start date is subject to review.
Spaces remain on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, these can still be booked as normal, and we will transfer the dates.
When government guidance is updated, we will email all bookings to discuss options.
Please check back here, and our facebook page where we update regularly.
Monday Tots 9.45-11.45am: January 11, 18, 25 and February 1 and 8
Tuesday Home-ed 12.30-2.30pm: January 12, 19, 26 and February 2 and 9.
Thursday Tots and Home-ed mixed group 12.30-2.30pm: January 14, 21, 28 and February 4 and 11
9.30-11.30am Friday Tots 9.30-11.30am: January 15, 22, 29 and February 5 and 12.
For the tots groups we are limited to a maximum number of 15 individuals over the age of 5 on site, including staff so please note the following:
Non walking baby siblings are free.
Baby siblings that are old enough to be up and about and are confident walking need their own ticket please.
We have to limit the number of adults present - we ask for one adult per family group. If you wish to bring an additional adult please contact us to see if numbers allow.
Payment is required in advance. Please see our cancellation policy.
Food & Drink
During each session, we will provide tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
Please bring your own cups
We will often offer snacks, but please feel free to bring your own.
We do have access to a toilet in a mobile home in case of emergencies, but please try to use the toilets at home before you arrive.
We have handwashing stations in the woods.
Please bring your own small towel to dry your child's hands.
Our site has plenty of space to allow families to be in their own bubble, at a safe distance from others. While we understand that very young children cannot social distance, please be aware of other family bubbles and that there are some things that the children in a group will be sharing such, as the mud kitchen.
We provide wipes for parents to use on any tools or pens etc before and after use.
What to expect at a session:
We go out in all weathers, except high winds and lightning storms. The children are encouraged to appreciate the natural world throughout the seasons, and we encourage them to use natural materials in their play.
Our sessions give the children a low risk environment in which they are free to explore the woodland throughout the seasons, and get muddy! We have a loose structure every week but we allow the sessions to be as child-led as possible.
We meet and wait for everyone in the car park area at the start time before all walking down to the site together.
We start the sessions at the central meeting point, have a brief welcome, and a safety talk where we explain about rules for staying safe in the woodland and around the fire circle if we have a small fire- and then we often play a short game to help the children feel confident in the woods.
We then introduce or suggest an activity, such as leaf printing, bug hunts, den building, painting, sensory games, or natural crafts for example, and then the children are free to do that, or just have free play on the water wall, music wall, or mud kitchen, or in the wider woodland area where we have plenty of space to run about, dig, collect stuff, play on rope swings, climb trees, play games and explore. We encourage the children to follow and build on their own interests within our setting.
We often snacks at this time - but please feel free to bring your own.
If we feel it appropriate we may also introduce some simple woodland games, and we also have simple tools available which the leaders can demonstrate and help the children learn to use if they wish, in an age appropriate manner.
We often have two dogs at our sessions, a 6 year old border collie who is friendly and doesn't jump up; and a sometimes a yellow labrador who either is asleep, or follows the collie about.
During the session we will try to chat with you to reflect on what your child likes doing and might want to do next time, so we can keep the sessions as child led as possible.
At the end of the session we say goodbye and make our way back to the car park.
All sessions are run by two qualified Forest School Leaders, or one with an assistant, with full DBS checks and an outdoor first aid certificate. We carry a full first aid kit with us at all times.
We ask that at least one adult per family group remains throughout the session. There is no charge for extra adults.
The parent/adults will be responsible for their own children at all times.
Activities may include flint and steel fire lighting, using tools such as hammers, saws and peelers; woodland craft, den building, and camp fire cooking.
If we need to cancel a session due to poor weather we will contact you as soon as we make the decision, and offer you an alternative date or a refund.
Please wear suitable outdoor clothes and shoes - no sandals or open toed shoes please. Waterproofs are always needed, with lots and lots of warm layers underneath in the winter and cool layers in hot weather. Bring a full set of spare dry clothes for your child including shoes and socks.
We have toileting and hand washing facilities on site. We also provide a dry area to change nappies and store bags on site, and give shelter from rain or sun.
The approach into the woods from the car park and meeting area is grassy but quite steep and is ok for all terrain pushchairs, but not lightweight buggies.