Play The Forest School Way by Peter Houghton & Jane Worroll

Play The Forest School Way by Peter Houghton & Jane WorrollPlay The Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids by Peter Houghton
Published by Watkins Publishing on May 24, 2016
Pages: 160
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration.
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The ultimate guide to woodland fun with kids!
Forest School is founded on a philosophy of nature-based play and learning  that encourages children to develop confidence and self-esteem. This book will get your kids outside, making and building in the real world (instead of on a computer screen!). Whether your local woodland is a forest or a strip of trees along the edge of an urban park, these activities provide fantastic opportunities for family time and will encourage your children to fall in love with outdoor play.
This is the first book to share Forest School games, crafts and skill-building activities with families and friends, its magical illustrations and simple instructions drawing children easily into a world of wonder.
• Be a fox tracking its prey, a moth evading a bat, a rabbit fleeing a forest fire!• Make a working bow and arrow, spectacular headdresses, beautiful woodland jewellery, magic wands – all with materials gathered from the forest floor.• Learn wilderness survival skills: build a shelter, make fire, forage and cook wild food.

How many ways can I love this book?! Play the Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids appealed to me as a parent, a homeschooler/unschooler, a Girl Scout volunteer.

Kids need to be out in nature, playing! I liked the focus on letting the child lead, being careful not to impose. I learned from this book. I was inspired. And I was left with a wealth of ideas.

Probably my favorite part was the ending of each activity, titled “Endings.” Open-ended questions encourage kids to converse about what they loved, what they think, what they learned—without an agenda about what they were “supposed” to get out of the activity.

I’m kind of kicking myself for requesting this title via NetGalley instead of requesting a physical copy from the publisher (but I pre-ordered it as soon as I finished reading the digital galley). The layout, the font choices, the illustrations—it’s all just beautiful. It feels earthy and natural and clean. It’s easy to quickly find all information needed for each activity, from supply lists to safety tips and reminders. With its eclectic mix of activities—everything from art projects to group games to survival skills—this is an invaluable resource to have on hand.

  • Sounds wonderful! Do you think it would be appropriate as a book to give to a child, rather than use as a parent? I’m thinking birthday present for my son (he’ll be ten).

    • Hmmm I’m not sure, he might be just on the edge of too old for this. There’s a lot of great info on tying knots, building shelters, etc. but there are also a lot of crafty activities that appeal to the younger crowd. Overall I think this is geared more toward adults facilitating younger kids in nature activities. You might want to flip through a physical copy first to be sure, if your local store carries it.