We must teach our children to smell the earth, see things grow and to care - Mini Beee
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We must teach our children to smell the earth, see things grow and to care

We must teach our children to smell the earth, see things grow  and to care

“When children play in natural spaces, they’re far more likely to invent their own games than in more structured settings – a key factor in becoming self-directed and inventive adults later in life” (Richard Louv journalist and author co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network)

The natural world holds an invaluable role in the development of children. 


At Mini beee, we have long been fascinated by the role that nature has in promoting positive lifelong behaviours and skills, particularly in the younger generations. 


So, we’ll be using this blog post to continue exploring the topic. But this time, we’ll be taking a slightly different route. 


We’re keen to find out more about Forest Schools. These institutions are becoming increasingly popular - particularly across Europe - and their benefits are profound. 


Read on to find out more about this eco-conscious, nature-led way of learning. 


The benefits of spending time in nature 


Just before we move on to the schools themselves, we wanted to quickly reiterate why being in nature is so important for a child’s development. 


Something as simple as playing outdoors for a couple of hours a day can bring huge benefits for a child, particularly in terms of the way that they develop. 


These benefits include: 


  • Boosting their confidence
  • Developing their learning skills
  • Enhancing their practical skills
  • Assisting with the development of social skills
  • Helping them to communicate better, and more clearly articulate their thoughts
  • Developing a love and respect for the natural world.

If you’re keen to learn more about the importance of spending time in nature, we’d recommend reading our blog post about the roles of nature and play in childhood development.

What is a Forest School? 


According to the Forest School website


“Forest Schools are nature-based communities where trained practitioners nurture learner-led exploration and discovery, nurturing meaningful experiences for positive lifelong impacts.”


This concept was established by Forest Schools Education. The organisation was founded in 2001 by Sarah Blackwell. She started this alternative approach to schooling as a result of her firm belief in the importance of this more natural, organic method of teaching. 


In the following 20 years, the concept that Sarah established took off, and has been enlisted all over the globe. In fact, the training team of The Forest Schools Education have trained and granted qualifications to teachers across the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as further afield, to countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and America.


The core aim of this organisation is to create an educational setting which prioritises the wellbeing of children. It is their belief that, through extended periods of time immersed in nature, the social, emotional and physical requirements of nature can be better fulfilled.


This is achieved through exploratory experiences, the chance to discover more about nature and how it works, and the opportunity for children to grow in a way which is adherent to the principles of holistic learning. 


A typical Forest School activity would be a day immersed in the forest, engaging all the senses and learning more about how the world around them works. 


These activities are highly sociable, with the group of children being encouraged to interact with each other and share this process of discovery. 


Educators can enlist to become Forest School professionals themselves through the Forest School website. There, they will receive more training and guidance to develop this kind of teaching practice. The Forest School organisation offers specialist courses, qualifications and assessments. 


Applying the principles of Forest Schools to your home


Even if they are not enlisted to one of these groups, you can utilise the principles and ethos of Forest Schools within your own child’s daily routine. 


Getting your family out on a visit to a nearby forest is a great place to start. You could also encourage them to play outside more often, and unleash their imagination as they do so. 


At Mini beee, we firmly champion the ethos that is represented by Forest Schools. 


We are dedicated to promoting outdoor play amongst children, as we believe that spending time in nature should be a top priority for parents and teachers. 


If you’d like to find out more about our product range and how they promote independent and engaged outdoor play, be sure to pay a visit to the Mini beee online shop


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