Recently, I took nearly-three-year-old to a ‘Babes in the wood’ class at Chorlton Water Park by We are Adventurers. We were both so excited about this class as it was based in one of our most favourite places and aimed at one thing: teaching the under 5s to enjoy our British forests and woodland.
We arrived at the Park, were met by the group leaders and other participants and handed our first task – a simple task about recognising the plant life around us.
Eloise was delighted to be handed a picture sheet of leaves, to help her match leaf to tree as we walked down a woodland path. The group leader was great at pointing out the relevant trees to the children, but I was surprised to find that nearly-three-year-old recognised quite a few of the leaves herself – pointing to the correct lead on the sheet and saying to me “it’s that one, Mummy, look!” She certainly doesn’t get this ability from me!
On reflection, I shouldn’t have been surprised at her keen interest. Children are naturally curious about the world around them and this is great way to develop and build on that using the environment around us.
We were led to a woodland clearing where several different activities were laid out – these turned out to be painting the leaves we had just collected, painting with mud on a huge white sheet hung between trees and bug collecting.
The space chosen for the activities was perfect – there was a low, rocky wall which the children enjoyed climbing and a bridge which nearly-three-year-old called her ‘hidey-hole’.
My daughter currently suffers from eczema quite severely. At one point, we were perhaps a little too adventurous in taking her for a wee ‘au naturelle’ in the woods (a learning point for myself – BRING A POTTY next time!). She got some on her poor, sore legs and it must have stung like hell.
I just wanted to say a thank you at this point to the staff and particularly the group leader (Paul) for being so kind and helping calm nearly-three-year-old (and me!) down during the ensuing meltdown.
We really enjoyed our session, and we’ll definitely be booking the full course. I’m all for encouraging enjoyment of the great outdoors – see my other recent posts on Bonding over Bugs and Discovering what’s in a pond.
Disclaimer: We were invited to this session free of charge, but I was under no obligation to write a review. All the opinions expressed are completely honest, and I’ll be booking the course. The cost of the Babes in the Wood class is £36 for a six week block. Classes, after-school clubs and holiday clubs are available for children aged up to twelve.