Woodland Parent and Child Group
Enjoy and experience nature through a weekly walk in the beautiful and ancient Whippendell Wood on the edges of North Watford; see, touch and feel the changes in the seasons, witness the colours and smells of the natural environment. The Rudolf Steiner School Woodland group has a similar rhythm to the indoor session, enjoying a nature walk, time for songs, snack, exploration and play.
Sessions are on Fridays 9.30-11.30 a.m.
We meet by the public car park of Whippendell Wood, just off Grove Mill Lane at 9.15am for a 9.30 start. The car park is free of charge.
The group meets throughout the year during term time, whatever the weather. It may be necessary to cancel a session in extreme weather conditions, including storms and hurricanes, and when temperatures are around 0 or below, with storm or blizzard conditions. Don’t be discouraged by the rain! The wood is magical when it rains, the sound of the rain on the leaves is joyous, and water provides another learning dimension for the children to explore in the wood.
The purpose and structure of the group
The purpose of this group is to walk in the woods and experience the changes in the seasons. Walking is a very important activity that we generally do less and less, so we will spend about an hour walking, stopping and playing at some points, and then we will do ring time and snack time.
The purpose of the group is not to “teach” about woodland life, as it is not like a forest school. It is an opportunity for parents to meet, to observe how their children learn in a natural environment, and how they explore and sense the woods. For the children, it is a refreshing opportunity to experience nature with their open senses, build up their stamina, develop a sense of rhythm and routine, and practice walking. They will soon familiarise themselves with the route of the walk, as this will be the same every week, enjoying the stopping points, where they can play and explore.
We start the session in our log ring inside the wood, gathering leaves or sticks and singing. We then sing the good morning song, and have a mini snack with raisins. After, we are ready for our walk. We walk for approximately one hour, going at the children pace, with stops along the way. The route will be the same each week, as this gives a sense of security to the children. They will see the environment – that they learn to know by coming every week – changing through the seasons.
We end the walk where we started, by the log ring. We gather around the ring and have our seasonal songs. The children will soon become familiar with the songs and verses, as these will be repeated over a number of weeks.
After ring time, we will wash our hands, and have our snack. Please bring your own snack for you and your child and a piece of fruit to share. Warm tea will be provided.
The children will be led from one activity to another through singing. This will develop their sense of the rhythm and routine of the group, and they will be able to flow naturally from activity to activity.
We end the session at the log ring with a verse and the goodbye song.
What you need to wear and bring
It is recommend that both parents and children are dressed with warm layers, and waterproofs. Little feet would be best in walking boots rather than wellies, so that their ankles are supported. Little hands need warm gloves. And little heads need warm hats. A warm child is a happy child, and this is probably true for the parent as well!
You need to bring: a snack, water to drink, and a cup for you and your child. A basket for collecting nature treasures. Paper tissues and a plastic bag can be useful.
The cost is £6 for the first child – and siblings aged one and over are £4 each. Siblings under one year are free. After the first session, which is paid on the day, we request advanced payment for a half term at a time. This helps to form a small community, and regularity for the children. They soon become familiar with the other children and adults in the group, and this helps their sense of security.
For more details, directions and term dates, please contact Silvia at email@example.com
Main school telephone: 01923 262505
“We are very grateful for Susanne Wilson-Goeb of the North London Rudolf Steiner School for helping Silvia to establish this wonderful new group.”