I think the weather always looks worse when you’re looking at it through the window. The grey dreary sky, the rain dripping down the glass, a plastic bag blowing across the road. Brave a trip to a park, a local nature reserve or The Hideaway Forest School and suddenly the weather doesn’t seem so bad.
‘It’s raining leaves!’ A group of 4 year olds look up and see a shower of yellow, orange, brown and red leaves, dislodged from the trees above them by a sudden gust of wind, gently falling, accompanied by fat droplets of water. This is a new experience for them. They are attending The Henleaze Hideaway with their pre-school, and are holding pots full of slugs and worms, searched for under soggy logs. These maligned creatures have gained the respect of their human captors through their slime trails, their surprising speed, and their 400 million year evolutionary journey.
In my experience, children love being outside in all weathers. At The Hideaway we aim to think of creative ways to give children amazing outdoor experiences. Learning and playing outside regularly is so important for children’s physical and mental health. Children who spend more time outside are less likely to become short sighted, are physically healthier, more confident and resilient, and can manage stress better. With recent headlines talking about an ‘epidemic’ of poor mental health in children, the ethical and economic argument for letting children learn and play outside is overwhelming.
It is a busy time of year but take 5 minutes to think about you and your child's well being this winter and sign up for The January term at The Hideaway Forest School. When January comes along you will be proud of yourself for having the foresight to plan to get outside and connect with nature.