We have introduced our new children to the joy of Forest School! Outdoor play has huge advantages for very young children and given the challenges we are facing, is a far safer environment to. The children are straight away encouraged to observe thier environment and care for the wildlife and insects that live within it. We have binoculars so they can begin to notice the different birds and the songs they make. The magnifiers are for insect investigation, we teach the children they all insects deserve to be respected as they all have a job to do. Some children are nervous of spiders and wasps so we watch them and talk about how amazing they are and what it is they do. The spider webs are then left alone and there is no screaming to be heard when a wasp flies by! We always replace the deadwood when we have looked underneath and put the insects back to thier home if they end up in a bug pot! If we pond dip, the children are shown how to lie on thier tummies to stay safe. And any pond life is always put back as soon as they are identified. We will go onto to construct new bug hotels and plant wild flowers for the insects to thrive. We will also feed the birds over the winter and have provided nesting boxes.
Hopefully, this early awareness will last a lifetime.