Early Years Forest School

Forest school for pre-school children

Our preschool sessions on Wimbledon Common and in Alice Holt Forest are back for 2017, for ages from confident toddling to rising five. Wimbledon sessions start from the Windmill car park on Wednesdays from 10am. Alice Holt sessions start from the grass near to the Cafe on the Green on Tuesday at 10 am. Gentle one-and-a-half hour adventures give you and your little person* the chance to explore the woods and yourselves, and have some outdoor fun together. Call 01483 424 400 for more information or


*We have to be careful about our group sizes, so no more (or less) than one adult per two children please!

There is a growing research interest into benefits of outdoor play. In ‘Playing Outside’ Helen Bilton describes three of the main benefits:

A natural environment. There is a freedom associated with the space which cannot be replicated inside. If children feel at home in a particular space it seems natural to teach them in that area; education should not be a chore but an enjoyable worthwhile occupation. Children playing and learning in an outdoor environment appear more active, absorbed, motivated and purposeful, and develop a more positive attitude to learning.

Emotional literacy. Children will often be less inhibited outside, and more willing to join in with activities, talk and come out of their shells. In overcrowded spaces children’s behaviour can change, some can become more aggressive, while others become more solitary (Bates 1986).

Learning through movement. This one of the four vehicles through which children can learn (along with play, talk and sensory experiences.) All of these happen more naturally outside, moving play is particularly effective outdoors.

Wild learning run Early Years Forest School sessions for two age ranges:

Babes in the Wood – for toddlers aged 14 months (and walking) to 2.5 years. Enjoy a new outdoor theme each week as we head out for an adventure, followed by story time and crafts.

Little Explorers – for older pre-school children from 2.5 years. Explore the woods and open grassland using all your senses in these fun-filled and challenging sessions, in whatever the weather. Story and craft activity included.