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Forest kindergarten for little ones

(6 Posts)
strawberrybubblegum Sat 01-Nov-14 13:05:32

I love the concept of forest schools, and I was very excited when I learned that one is opening locally - just as DD turns 2, and I've started thinking that she's ready for some kind of nursery. BUT... now I'm getting cold feet!

A lot of the forest kindergartens seem to start at 3. This one takes them from 2, although parents stay 'for the first few sessions'. Is 2 old enough for DD to enjoy forest kindergarten? She really loves the outdoors, and is a very active little girl, but she often struggles with new experiences and wants to stay close to her trusted adults.

I'm also trying to balance her experience and my childcare needs. I currently work 3 days a week (she has a nanny for those days), but I'd quite like to progress to her being in nursery for 2 longish half-days (8-2, say) on the other days in about 6 months or so, so that I can increase my work hours. Would that be too much forest school for a 2.5 year-old? Especially since it would be through the winter too (I know that's the forest school ethos... but she's so little, and my PFB!). I get the impression that forest school is often just for 1 day a week.

Thanks for any opinions and personal experiences. I don't want my worries to stop me from giving DD a great experience, but I also don't want my abstract ideals to blind me to practical reality!

higherhill Sat 01-Nov-14 16:29:30

Hello. my DS went to a outdoor nursery from the age of three until school, though they take them from two years old also. He went two full days a week from 8 until 5. I was unsure about the aspect of him going right through winter, but he was absolutely fine. the staff will make sure ( should do )he is kitted out properly so that he has enough layers and some decent boots. I can say hand on heart he never complained about being cold or not wanting to go to nursery , and was always lovely and warm when I picked him up. he also had less coughs and colds, his stamina and co ordination also improved massively. I also felt that that the staff were more engaged with the kids and there was a lot more interaction which obviously helped his speech.

NannyNim Sun 02-Nov-14 19:35:04

The fotset school nursery my LO goes to takes from 6mths (not sure how I feel about that but that's for another discussion) and they are rated "outstanding" by Ofsted so the little ones must be okay!

My LO is 2 and LOVES his time there. He loves being outside anyway so this suits him down to the ground. The children all have big, thick waterproof suits that they wear so they're never cold and the staff have high ratios so they're really vigilant.

Forest schools are still unusual in most places so I can understand your trepidation but they're great places and children get so much from them. Go and have a look around and raise any questions with the staff. I'm sure you won't be the first to wonder about these things! Go for it! smile

strawberrybubblegum Mon 03-Nov-14 22:21:10

Thank you both for the reassurance! I'll definitely visit and ask all these questions!

hollie84 Mon 03-Nov-14 22:24:35

Do they have inside space that's freely accessible?

strawberrybubblegum Sun 16-Nov-14 20:59:20

I don't think there is freely accessible inside space. They do have an indoor space, where the day starts and finishes, but it's about a 10 minute walk from the woodland area.

Is that unusual for a forest school nursery?

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