‘Wild Time Forest School’ returns to Lesmahagow by popular demand.

Following the success of ‘Wild Time’ in 2016, OutLET: Play Resource have secured funding via Foundation Scotland, enabling them to restart their after school ‘Forest School’ programme for the winter months.

Forest School is an innovative, child led approach to outdoor play and learning. Based on a Scandinavian concept of embracing the outdoors, it gives children (and adults) a wonderful and rare opportunity to enjoy nature in a safe, secure and hands-on woodland environment all year round and in all-weathers.

The first ‘Wild Time Forest School’ Block is taking place in:

Birkwood Estate, Lesmahagow every Thursday from 19th January, 3.45pm – 5.45pm

Tickets for the block can be booked through http://www.outletplayresource.co.uk, but those interested in booking are encouraged to do so quickly, following the popularity of last years ‘Wild Time’ trial.

Jackie Meager, Founder of OutLET: Play Resource and Forest School Leader said, ‘Children today have very scheduled lives, spend more time in front of screens and have less time and freedom to play than ever before.  The society in which they live is increasingly risk averse and less tolerant of children behaving like children!

She added, “This is why Forest School and other forms of wild play are so important for our children. At Forest School, children follow their own interests. They climb trees, build dens and slide down our awesome mudslide. The children learn to assess their own risks, solve problems and work together as a team – but most importantly, they get to be children!’

‘OutLET Play Resource’ is a newly established Social Enterprise, located in Lesmahagow. Since starting in May 2016, they have been busy providing Forest School in Woodpark Primary School and facilitating play sessions during the ‘Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership’s’ outdoor play initiative, ‘Growing Up Wild’.

“Taking part in Forest School was a wonderful experience for the children involved” says Maureen Farr, Woodpark Primary School Head Teacher. “The children learned to be much more self-reliant while also learning to work in a team.  They were taught valuable safety lessons and learned to trust their instincts.”

Natural play is widely acknowledged as much more than just fun – it is essential for children’s physical, social and emotional health and wellbeing. Yet, even a brief internet search will find a worrying number of reports on how little time kids get to play outdoors.  According to a report from the National Trust (Natural Childhood by Stephen Moss), fewer than 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild places.

‘Wild Time Forest School’ is just one of a growing number of outdoor play initiatives taking place throughout Lanarkshire and Scotland. This year saw Lanarkshire’s first Outdoor Play Conference, where local practitioners and play enthusiasts came together to share skills and experiences.

For more information, or to book your child in to a ‘Wild Time Forest School’ block visit www.outletplayresource.co.uk or contact Jackie, jackie@outletplayresource.co.uk

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