Friday 4 November 2016

Forest Schools At Home

First off I'd like to say thank you to everyone that left a comment about my washing machine troubles. I'll do a post about how it was resolved tomorrow, but I'm always so impressed with the response I get here, I love this little blogging community we've built up!

Now on with today's post.

My eldest daughter , who is currently in reception at the village school, does a initiative call forest schools on a Monday afternoon at school. She absolutely loves it. 

I think this is a great idea where the kids get to go out and play in nature, they're encouraged to explore and climb trees and the sessions can be as simple as collecting leaves and as they get more older they even have camp fires. The only downside is that they're required to wear gloves at all times (I'll rant about that another day) and they only do it for the first couple of years at school before "real" learning takes over the timetable. 
Both my girls love being outside and this is something I love to encourage (as it's where I like to be as well). With the darker autumn and winter nights it becomes harder as once we're back from the school run it's already drawing in.

So last night I decided to take the girls out for an hour before tea. My sister-in-law, Helen, had been over all day looking after the children whilst I did some roofing so she came out with us and as my wife just got home from school she looked after the baby inside (he's full of cold).

I asked them if they wanted to make a fire so they picked a spot in the future pig pen. they cleared off a small area and then used their torches to find firewood and kindling.

I then lit the fire (after a couple of attempts) and we all sat round and talked about what we could cook on it.

I bought out one of my bushcraft cooking pots and some popcorn so we we popped some of that once the fire got hot enough and I gave the girls a couple of glow sticks to play with. I think this is a great way to make sure they''re not afraid of the dark! 

From unpopped... burnt in seconds!
 The pop corn burnt, but it didn't matter. The girls loved sitting and talking about things and it was great to be out there with only the fire as a distraction. 

My younger daughter was getting cold and restless so Helen said she'd take her back in. My eldest then asked me:
"Is it alright if I can stay out with you and watch the fire go down daddy?" I think my heart melted a little bit when she said that!

So we sat on the dirt and watched the flames die down and talked about everything and nothing.

When we got back to the house she wanted to get the fire wood with me for the log burner and kept telling me what a fun night it was.

A great thing to do with the kids and something I want to start doing regularly. I think that sitting round a fire like this is in our DNA and it's a great way to spend quality time with ones that we love.

Who else just loves to sit by a fire outside? 


  1. I love being outside,as do my kids. I encorage the kids to be outside.

  2. Ahh you brought a tear to my eye watching the fire go down. I couldn't think of anything more blissful. My kids would love it too.

  3. Can't beat a wood fire, watching the flames and keeping away from the hot spits, perfect at this time of year.

  4. Its something we often do, when we have stuff to burn we usually wait until the evening, when the grandkids are here they are free to make fires of there own in the designated area, they want to have a go at lighting a fire without matches perhaps next time there here.

  5. Wonderful pictures and the forest schools are a great idea.

  6. Your daughters are delightful, and baby boy too, but that last photo of you and your daughter is heart warming. As a child I lit the fire when I came home from school, I was about nine when I started. Most other children did too, apart from the ones whose parents were at home. It made me self reliant and independent, and I did not burn the house down. I know things change but I think that on Bonfire Night the fire is still important. You are doing a superb job. Love Andie xxx

  7. Yes, love a fire outside-in fact have a bonfire covered with a tarp right now ready to be lit when all the family are here for Christmas.

  8. You are a lucky man. These small moments become big memories.I have many of these with my own father.I cherish the times I spent with him. Enjoy life.

  9. You said your daughter is in reception. I'm not familiar with that term, is it like preschool? I don't remember the last time I was at an outside fire. Some people have 'fire pits' in their back yards but there is a move afoot to get them banned in the city. Air pollution and all that crap. I envy you with your little acreage and the quality time you spend with your children.

  10. i build an outdoor fire every night this time of year. it takes me back to when i was your girls ages and we had fires outside. nothing better! what memories you are making!

  11. I'm currently expanding the children's Tree House area. I've bought an old caravan that has been 'restored', I've installed more outdoor furniture, and I've built a Fire Pit. I'm now hoping that when they come next summer I will have a similar reaction.

  12. What a sweet post! I bet you'll remembeer that evening for a long time. I checked out the website, the Forest School sounds amazing for children.

  13. Good for you Kev. Those memories will be forever. My father, back in the prehistoric 60's, used to bundle us up by the fire at night, outside and tell us ghost stories. Might be why the first authors I fell in love with were Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe! We do the campfire thing now with our four grandkids. It never gets old.

  14. PARENTING DONE RIGHT!!! I love sitting around an open fire in the great outdoors, I think there is definitely something primal and tribal about sitting around the fire in a group and cannot wait til we can do exactly that on our land

  15. Hey Kev have you thought about teaching the kids to make bread in the fire? You can make Damper bread or elianyn Khlib

    What a really good bonding experience

    1. sorry that should say Selianyn Khlib. my S isnt working so well! lol you can cook it in a dutch oven in the fire. Or as my great niece says, "chuck it in the cauldron!". lol

  16. What a simple but simply wonderful thing to do with your kids. Our grown daughter, her fella, hubby and I were just talking, a couple of nights ago, about what a magical thing it is to sit outside around a fire. It's the perfect atmosphere to have those "special" discussions whether the participants are all adults or a little girl and her daddy. We have a metal, contained fire pit we use on our deck in the good weather months but I think I'm going to make a point of using it some nights during this coming winter, too. Thanks for a truly heart-warming post, Kev.

  17. I think you've just confirmed something for your patio this year, a Fire pit for sitting round!


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