The end of term always elicits two things; a sigh of relief in parents and teachers alike and the tendency to reminisce on the (academic) year gone by. And what a year it’s been, both for us as a company and for the general population at large. With what felt like restrictions changing weekly and two national lockdowns, another record-breaking wet winter, the nail-biting final of Euro 2020, a return to “normal” life (apparently) and then a record-breaking heatwave, there’s been a lot to process.
Time to Process
Now though, the summer holidays are finally upon us and we are presented with six weeks to relax, process the last 9 months and hopefully recuperate before the new term starts again in September. After the last very strange 18 months, these weeks are particularly needed for children to have some stability and here at The Outdoors Group we believe that play is the most powerful vehicle for them to heal some of the trauma and anxiety that a lot of them will have experienced during the pandemic. That is why we have signed up to the #SummerOfPlay campaign.
Summer of Play
We have signed the Summer of Play pledge to say that we are committed to providing opportunities “to enable all children, in all our communities, to have space and time for play this summer by supporting fun, friends, and freedom.” For us, the vehicle for this will be through our Holiday Clubs. We are running Holiday Clubs every day of the week across four sites this summer, at Exmouth, Okehampton, Ilfracombe and Totnes Forest School and are finding them busier than ever, presumably because parents all around Devon agree with us that what our children now is lots and lots of outdoor play!
Holiday Clubs for Days
So what happens at a Forest School Holiday Club? Where to start! Our ethos for our provision is that we remain child-led as much as possible so a large part of our sessions are just allowing children the space and freedom to play in the great outdoors however they want; to be swinging on our swings, climbing trees, bouncing on cargo nets, making mud pies in the mud kitchens, paddling in streams, building dens and relaxing in hammocks. But we also always have an activity or two up our sleeves as well – whether that’s a spot of woodwork and whittling, campfire cooking, fire lighting or team games, there’s always something to do! No two sessions are the same, the only constant is the smiling faces and muddy knees traipsing back to the car park at the end of the day.
So if you’re looking for something for the kids to do this summer and feel that they need some more play in their lives – why not head over to our Holiday Club page and book them in for a session or two of woodland based Forest School fun this summer!
Author: Hannah Durdin, Marketing Officer & Forest School Leader
Date: Thursday 29th July 2021