Look After Yourself 1There are many ways that I have used over the years to set ground rules with children. It always boils down to this though… [..read more..]

Nordic Romantic Braid 1Occasionally I see a craft technique and think to myself “I can’t wait to take that to the woods!” So it was when I attended a textile workshop with Larry Schmidt at the North House Folk School. He specialises in traditional Scandinavian textile techniques that were brought to America by the first settlers and the have wonderful names like flettet snor, frynseflet, bregdet band and rundflet snor. [..read more..]

spring doodleDoodle for http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/category/members-news/.

Click on the image for a larger version.

Bug Hotel Book 1I have spent an inspiring couple of days in Scotswood Natural Community Garden. It’s a stunning place on so many levels; just two to three acres in very urban part of Newcastle, thriving with trees, flowers, birds, insects, foxes, ponds and people. [..read more..]

Walking Alongside 1Sitting around the fire at a recent Forest School conference a fascinating discussion developed about the nature of the pedagogy we employ. My friend Annie, of Get Out More, remembered a conversation she and I had had a few years ago. [..read more..]

How to make char flowersThere is a really fascinating process you can do with fire that is basically making charcoal but without any wood… [..read more..]

Tree Climbing Risk 2Risk taking is widely understood to be a natural part of a child’s development. Adults who work with children are moving on from thinking of risk only in the context of ‘the risk assessment’ which decides those things are too dangerous to allow. [..read more..]

How to make ink from oak gallsThere is something about playing in the woods, exploring, experimenting that really stimulates discoveries. I remember when I was a teenager reading about oak gall ink in a book on art techniques but I hadn’t tried it until today. [..read more..]

Maslow's Hierarchy 1I was just repacking and checking through the safety bag that I take into the woods with me and I felt like something was missing. There had been a lot more space in the bag over the summer but as the weather changes so does the contents of my safety bag. [..read more..]

Child Led Learning 2Giving control over content and intent of play and learning to children. [..read more..]

Alder Bees 1I was asked to bring something to share at my recent visit to Wood School. I haven’t made these alder bees with a group for years despite having all the bits in a nice little cigar box ready to go. [..read more..]

coppice birds 1Last year I learnt to make these little wooden birds from a local coppice worker. They are made from a single carved forked stick. [..read more..]

going feral

This course has now past. If you are interested in something similar please email mail@kindlingplayandtraining.co.uk.
[..read more..]

Adventure Essentials 1Every year we had make most of our Christmas gifts. My nieces and nephews are getting to an age where we can really really enjoy making stuff for them. I wanted to make a den building adventure kit for my oldest nephew. I had some ideas but I knew the Forest Education Initiative Facebook page would come up with more. They are a real source of inspiration and support for lots of people who work outdoors with children. [..read more..]

Handmade wooden Christmas treeI have set myself a creative challenge over on my Facebook page. Every day in December so far I have added a new winter festive craft made from things from the woods to a folder full of photographs.

Here’s a round up of my daily ideas so far. [..read more..]

forest school, outdoor play, nature, children, doodleI thought I’d share with you a little doodle I had in the last edition of the Forest School Association newsletter. This is based on something that happened with a group I was working with a few years ago.

When you follow the children’s ideas you end up in very interesting places!

How to Bake in the Woods 2Well-being is really important, especially if you are working outside all day in the cold and rain. So with that in mind I thought I would share with you some of my favourite outdoor cooking treats, suitable for a day on the woods or a Forest School. [..read more..]

Ropes Bridges 1I’ve written before about building rope bridges among the trees and how fantastic they are for children’s motor development, encouraging social skills and confidence and being loads of fun. [..read more..]

There are some projects that really stay with you. I worked with Brudenell Primary School in Leeds for over two years, helping them embed Forest School into their curriculum, and providing training and support. [..read more..]

Sunset

Sunrise from our camp on West bay.
Photo: Tim Rowe

I have recently come back from a month long trip deep into the wilderness in NW Ontario, Canada. Which almost explains how quiet I have been here recently. It has been a lot to process. [..read more..]