The value of the outdoors in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and independence has long been recognised, particularly in Scandinavian countries where Forest schools and outside classrooms are well established and widespread.
Natural Thinkers has strong links with all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage and particularly supports development in the three ‘prime areas’ of Personal, Social and Emotional
Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. Natural Thinkers provides children with a too-rare opportunity to engage in challenging, adventurous play outdoors. It gives children time to explore an exciting new environment. Through Natural Thinkers we aim to help all children to develop confidence, be independent, work together and express themselves. Children will learn how to recognise and manage risks and dangers, challenge themselves physically, learn new skills, and reconnect with the natural world around them.
Natural Thinkers at Gill Blowers aims to offer children a sense of freedom, a chance to play adventurously and take risks, while keeping them as safe as is reasonably possible. Children learn to respect and enjoy their environment whilst learning how to manage risks and keep themselves safe. Adults support children through natural thinkers and allow the children to challenge themselves, and to test their capabilities, whilst providing support and ensuring that risks are ‘reasonable’.
The experience of building and enjoying a fire is an integral part of natural thinkers and is something that we hope to include during some of our sessions. Sitting calmly and watching a crackling fire is a magical and mesmerising experience which many children may never have had the opportunity to do before. We aim to provide this unique experience to children in a safe and controlled way.
‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.’
This is our motto at Gill Blowers and we will stick to it. We have some full waterproof outfits for children to borrow, but children will be outside in all weather conditions (except where weather is dangerous) and we ask that you send your child in suitable clothing for every session. Clothing should be warm and easy to move around in, layers of clothes are best so children can take off items as they get hot through moving around. Children will need wellies, hats and scarfs and gloves – again these can be removed or added as required by the child. As the weather improves these can be replaced with sun hats and sun cream.
How can I do Natural Thinkers at home? – When out and about with your child look and see what you can find in the natural environment. We would love it if your child could bring in the things that they find to share with their friends.
See how much fun you can have in muddy puddles by clicking here