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Forest School Wild Play — Jane Worroll & Peter Houghton

Aimed at parents, teachers and Forest School leaders, this new book from Jane Worroll & Peter Houghton is packed full of fantastic new Forest School activities. It has a special focus on the elements and on making children feel connected to the natural world through imagination and storytelling.   

The ultimate antidote to screen time – outdoor play with your kids! Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a Forest School leader or anyone else looking after children, this invaluable guide to nature-based play is full of ideas to get kids outdoors, learning about and connecting with nature, developing new skills and having fun. These new Forest School crafts, games and survival activities are all themed around the elements of earth, air, fire and water, with an underlying message of sustainability and wonder at the amazing web of life. 

For earth, make a mud slide, try Bogolan mud painting on cloth, or hurl mud missiles at a moving target. For air, make a bullroarer or a whistle, build a kite and fly it, or predict the weather by reading the clouds. For fire, dig a Dakota fire pit, make a bug-repellent torch or learn how to navigate using a shadow stick. For water, mix natural dyes, build and test a rainproof den, or drink foraged birch twig tea from a crafted log cup. There are also four magical stories to tell the children – one for each of the elements –guaranteed to spark their imagination.

Praise: 

"As an educator who has done a placement in a Forest School Kindergarten and saw the benefits of this approach firsthand, I am thrilled to have a book with activity ideas that will benefit the children in my program. We do try to spend as much time outdoors as possible, in all weathers, because of the benefits to children’s development and health.

I loved the frame of this book being the four elements. And that the activities respect children’s capabilities, are easily adaptable to different age groups and list the benefits. They were clearly well thought out and meaningfully follow principles of Forest school.

I will be adding this book and the previous ones in the series to our library and be encouraging parents to purchase it, as it gives great ideas that anyone can incorporate. Being in and out of lockdown’s, now more than ever, this book is essential for curriculum planning.

As a mother of a son with ADHD, who benefits from outdoor time during the summer, I’ll also be using this book in my personal life!

Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to Watkins Publishing, Jane Worroll and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Forest School Wild Play." — Paulina Medeiros

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