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Not sure what to do. Outside time at preschool age. Thoughts about forest school?

(15 Posts)
MinkyWinky Sun 26-Mar-17 08:20:18

Both my DH and I work, so our DD has been going to her nursery/preschool for a while. She seems to enjoy being there. It's just as the weather's been getting better I've been questioning the amount of time she spends outside. They are out in the garden for at least two hours a day (which I know is more than some of the other full time preschools) and they will take them out more if the other rooms (younger children) don't come down. The thing is when she's home she will happily run around for hours outside. I was looking into a Forest schools. Logistically it would be more difficult, but she would have a lot more time outside. Am I overthinking? Does she need more outside time 4 days a week? What do you think of forest schools?

Char22thom Sun 26-Mar-17 08:25:47

It depends on a number of things, will she go to school this September or later? How do you think she will cope with a change? She will have a new place, new routine, new carers, new friends to contend with if you move her. Also depends how much you value what else the current preschool offers, but only you can decide whether the outside is important enough for you to do that x

Cantchooseaname Sun 26-Mar-17 08:28:17

Do you have a forest school in mind?
In general schools 'forest school' is an activity that pupils do- there is an area of grounds given over to 'forest', where traditional outdoor play activities can take place. The frequency of this activity is down to individual schools- generally once a week or such.
So unless you know a specific school that only/ mainly does this, I think moving to another school that has forest school as part of curriculum won't really improve things. Sorry.

Grumpbum Sun 26-Mar-17 08:33:48

Hi my child goes to nursery (nearly 3, summer born) for two days and one full day of forest school - he's out all day in all weathers. It's his favourite day of the week and am going to keep this arrangement until he starts school and have just turned a place down at local pre school in favour for it, next year will up forest school hours before starting school

MinkyWinky Sun 26-Mar-17 08:44:15

All good points. She's not going to primary school until Sept 18. She's old for her year. There is a forest school (that is just that as opposed to being part of a curriculum) so it would be completely different.

I was thinking about doing two days in her current preschool (for continuity) then two days at forest school. However, she's reserved (rather than shy) so takes time to get used to a new situation, so it may be a bad idea to move her. Urgh, I just don't know.

Grumpbum Sun 26-Mar-17 08:48:11

If it helps Serling in at FS for my child who was 2.5 at the time consisted of me staying for first 2 hours then I haven't stayed since I drop and go. I think as there is so much for the children to see, explore and get involved with They settle in quicker. For us the balance or traditional/forest school is perfect

Coloursthatweremyjoy Sun 26-Mar-17 08:53:41

It doesn't sound like a lot of outdoor play at all. All the places I have worked in have free-flow so the children go in and out as they wish. They could be permanently outside if they wish, some are. Outdoor play is so important that I wouldn't choose a nursery that didn't do this to be honest.

We go out in all but the most inclement of weathers. Snow, rain, wind. It was torrential here last week and we stayed out until the last child had given up, that was over two Hours!

Do they have inadequate outdoor space or do the staff just not like being Outside?

Coloursthatweremyjoy Sun 26-Mar-17 08:58:10

Oh, I meant to say. Forest School is a specific thing, leaders are trained to do it. If they don't have this training then they don't have Forest School they just have a garden where they play with natural objects. My manager is very strict about this we never use the term Forest School.

MinkyWinky Sun 26-Mar-17 09:04:05

Interesting Coloursthatweremyjoy. I'm sure that's what used to happen with the downstairs rooms, but I think there's not enough room for rampaging preschoolers and the toddler rooms to be outside at the same time. The people that look after them get them outside as much as possible so they can run off some of their energy, so it's not reluctance on their part.

The forest school is situated in the middle of a NT wooded area and is definitely certified.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 26-Mar-17 09:12:24

I'd do the 2 days in regular nursery, 2 days in forest school (is it an outside nursery?)

MinkyWinky Sun 26-Mar-17 09:52:59

Devilishpyjamas does your Dd/S transition between the two well? Have you always split his/her time.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 26-Mar-17 09:57:45

Mine are much older now, but yes I used two settings when ds3 was younger as he was fine.

ceara Mon 27-Mar-17 20:00:58

I use 2 preschools, on of them a forest school. My DS started both at almost 3, attending 1 morning a week at each initially. I was warned off splitting the time in case of settling in problems but 2 terms into the arrangement, all is good. He settled fastest at the forest school, as there are typically fewer children and a calmer environment which should help your DD with the adjustment? We've increased his hours at forest school to 2 days as he lives it so much. Bear in mind if you are changing arrangements in September this issue likely to be a time of changes for your DD anyway as some children she plays with will have left to start Reception, and depending on the setting there may also be a change of key person, room etc. This might mitigate the amount of upheaval caused by adding forest school to the mix.

lolalotta Tue 16-May-17 20:51:44

I think what you're after is an outdoor nursery, but I don't think there are that many around. My DD went to an outdoor nursery, it was wonderful in the spring, summer and Autumn, but I did feel bad for her in the depths of Winter! They did assure us that if the children were unhappy because of the wet or cold they would bring them in...
There was a tire swing/ low tree house/ outdoor kitchens/ lots of bikes/ scooters. Huge sandpit. My DD seemed very happy.

froyotogo Tue 16-May-17 20:57:00

We did 2 days pre school, 1 day forest school, 1 day doing house jobs and park or club visit and one day day trip to farm or museum.

I really wish we could still do forest school in term time. I'm so passionate about it I'm of the opinion children miss out by not doing this activity.

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