Playwork, Forest School and Outdoor Learning Case Studies

Reflecting and evaluating the benefits of outdoor learning, forest schools, playwork and training.

Did you play in the mud today?There are certain elements that regularly feature in my work life; fire, tools, cooking outdoors, climbing, bows and arrows and mud! [..read more..]

BauiSpeilPlatz 1For a few years I managed the transition of the only self-build Adventure Playground in Bradford, the Big Swing, from the statutory into the voluntary sector. Supporting the staff and managing the site through a period of transition gave me a real insight into the value of Adventure Playgrounds and the capability of children and young people. [..read more..]

WaKiGa

WaKiGa 17I recently spent a week in Hamburg and Berlin with a study tour for play professionals co-ordinated by ip-dip.com and www.meynellgames.org. The tour took us to scrapstores, adventure playgrounds, public parks and playspaces, community provision, waldkindergarten and green school playgrounds. [..read more..]

Green School 5So the cliché goes, there are lots of things Germany does well; public transport, sausages, compound nouns… actually all these things are true, but I’ve been discovering that in Berlin and Hamburg there are some other things that are done well; challenging, exciting and sustainable play provision for children and young people. [..read more..]

Bradford West Forest Schools Reflections and Evaluation

Reflections and Evaluation

Bradford Community Environment Project (BCEP) has been involved in the Forest School networking group in Bradford since its inception, and have been involved with the development of Forest Schools in the Bradford District since 2005/6. [..read more..]

Forest School Case Study: Carr Manor Primary

“We’re going down to the woods today”

“We’re Going Down to the Woods Today” was a Forest School project developed in partnership with Carr Manor Primary School by Lily Horseman of Kindling. [..read more..]

Play Perspective 1I have been working closely with a school as they went through some massive changes. When I first worked with them in March last year the Foundation stage; nursery and reception class were two separate entities. Hilary who leads the unit, has been inspired by a trip to Reggio Emilia in Italy and the approach they have for their Early Years learning and teaching. [..read more..]

Builder's Break 1

Deep play – overcoming fears and apprehension

As the children had their lunch I went up to the treehouse site (if you are new to this project then catch up here and here). I wanted to check things over and see what things looked like without half a dozen small bodies on top of the walls and door frame. A group of girls came out after their lunch and watching them playing in the treehouse distracted me so I didn’t get a chance to get any tools out. [..read more..]

Process to Product 1

Most building sites don’t down tools every time someone finds a worm!

Last week I began a child led project with a foundation stage group of children to build a treehouse. It was a very process oriented project. The children were content to have moved from hammering, sawing and drilling around a table inside, to have moved to hammering, sawing and drilling around a pallet outside. This week however they were very keen to have something that felt like a tree house. To the two wooden pallets and small pile of wood I added some fence posts. [..read more..]

Sunset Tree House 1

A tree house project would interest a lot of the children

After the popularity of the work bench in the Atelier I was reflecting on how we could keep developing our skills with the tools and make a collaborative project. I also wanted to take the work bench outside. [..read more..]

wax crayon rubbing leaf

Leaf rubbing isn’t novel, but was still amazing enough for a child who had never seen it done before to say “Woah! That’s sick!”

So far this week we have only had to down tools to deal with an injury twice. Once for a very small cut that needed a plaster and once for a finger, that got hit with a hammer slightly harder than all the other times we hit our fingers and thumbs with a hammer. Not a bad record from almost two full days of hammering and sawing by a group of children aged between three and five. [..read more..]

Being known as ‘Lily who plays out for a living’ has some drawbacks…..erm…. I’ll tell you what they are when I think of them…

Excitingly, this winter, I will also be playing indoors too! A wonderful school has invited me into their foundation stage be their provider of springboards, their atelierista, their Lily who plays indoors sometimes too.

We’ll be going to the woods to do some Forest School sessions, carrying on some work we began last Spring but this will be an exciting opportunity to work over a number of terms with a group of children. Indoors and out, in the setting, in the studio, in the woods and in the grounds.

The Foundation Stage is influenced by Reggio Emilia and I will be offering provocations and springboards and seeing where the children want to go with them.

I have started to feel a bit nervous and excited! It’s going to be a new challenge. But where to start? I have so many ideas for provocations I barely know where to begin. There is a part of me that is tempted to start with nothing and see where we end up…. watch this space!

Kindling delivered a training day with a wonderful enthusiastic group of Early Years practitioners on Monday. To end the session we talked about how being outdoors makes us feel.

We had been in the woods for most of the day and I asked them, based on the emotions and feelings they had had whilst they had been busy, and immersed in all sorts of creative and wonderful explorations what benefits they thought that similar experiences would have for the children they work with. [..read more..]

Oooh, I was just looking for an creature footprint ID sheet that I have been using since I worked at Herefordshire Nature Trust. I couldn’t find it in my filing system anywhere, but I remembered there was a copy in the the PDF that went with the WildPlay Kitbag that I complied with Jo Polack in 2005 (ish I am a bit rubbish with dates!).

www.herefordshirewt.org/wildplay/downloads/WildplayKitbag.pdf [..read more..]