The perfect place for children to connect with nature
With certified Forest School Leader Marion Edler-Burke
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors.
We borrow it from our children.”
-Haida Indian Saying
Forest School Activities
There are way too many individual activities, missions and games for us to describe here, but all that we do falls into these main categories:
Play and rest time in nature
Nature arts and crafts
Rope swings, rope ladders and climbers
Games and missions
Plant identification and wild food foraging
Fire making and camp fire cooking
Orienteering and tracking
Wildlife observation and tending to nature
and many many more….
Forest school offers a great opportunity for “holistic development” through interacting and connecting with the natural world and all it’s gifts and challenges in a playful way.
Through games, Nature arts and crafts, naturalists’ and seasonal activities as well as basic survival skills, Forest School provides a real life, multi faceted learning environment.
Learning happens hands on through self directed creative play, developing motor skills, sensory awareness, risk management, problem solving and teamwork.
The teaching method of Forest School is based on the “Art of Mentoring” where the leader provides and opens the space for the child’s curiosity to engage, with questioning, creating appropriate learning edges (creating opportunities to extend the edge of knowledge) and encouraging playful experimenting in a learner centred way rather than through direct teaching.
All Forest School activities, due to their variety and practical nature, help the participant to clearly see their own achievements, increasing their knowledge and skills, and thus building self esteem and confidence.
Why Is Forest School Important?
80% of Irish children get less than 1 hour of physical activity per day;
25% are obese or overweight and this number is rising fast;
Childhood depression, anxiety & attention disorders are rising fast.
The Benefits for Children
Physical activities in nature (trail walking, exploring & climbing) enhance strength, stamina, sure-footedness, balance & coordination. Tasks and problem solving encourage resilience, resourcefulness, teamwork and social skills.
There are many individual activities, missions and games used in the curriculum, enough to fill several books! The various activities are combined to build confidence, resourcefulness and have loads of fun while doing it.
Testimonial - Hanka Fahey
A Mother's Perspective
First of all, as a mother I loved that the kids spent a few hours outside in any weather and could connect with nature through games, creative play and physical activities… and all guided by Marion and her helpers. The kids always came home relaxed and full of new ideas. They especially loved making shelters from forest material, the story telling and of course the highlight fire making.
I can really recommend the Nature school and wished it would be included in the schools curriculum! There is nothing healthier and more educational than spending time in nature. Thanks to Marion and her team.
Forest School Classes 2021
Roots & Sprouts (parent-toddler ages 1 to 4)
Wildlings (Ages 5-9)
Young Explorers (Ages 9-12)
Please email us to be put on the Forest School email list, and we will update you when dates are set for 2021!
Forest School Classes are lead by Marion Edler-Burke, co-owner of Crann Og and a certified Forest School Leader. Marion is also a Nature Therapy Guide, Yoga and Meditation teacher.
Marion has been holding Forest School classes at Crann Og since 2017. Classes are held within the grounds of Crann Og farm and also in neighbouring Drummin Woods, a Special Area of Conservation.
Benefits of Forest School
Watch Richard Louv: The Nature Principle
Watch Ben Klasky: Get Hooked On Nature
Physical activities in nature (trail walking, exploring & climbing) enhance strength, stamina, sure-footedness, balance & coordination.
Promoting risk management, becoming a competent risk taker, taking appropriate risk.
Expanding awareness, calming and focusing the mind through sensory games.
Tasks and problem solving encourage resilience, resourcefulness, teamwork and social skills.
Enhancing mental health by getting in touch with the natural world, calming the mind and connecting to the heart.
These experiences combined with imagination and creativity, reduce stress & build confidence.
Observation & tending to nature encourages connectedness & compassion, which counteracts the competitive & overstimulated lifestyles.
These activities can help to alleviate modern ailments such as obesity, attention disorders & behavioural problems, boost a depressed immune system, & help to alleviate allergic reactions.
Why Forest School is important
"No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one cares about what they’ve never experienced."
Sir David Attenborough
Howard Gardener, Professor of Education at Harvard University developed the theory of 7 multiple Intelligences in 1983 and recently added the 8th, ‘Naturalist Intelligence‘, which he calls “nature smart”!
Forest School is transformative and transferable as it engages multiple intelligences, and therefore offers each learning type opportunities to grow and shine.
Tracker Jon Young
The Author, Mentor and Tracker Jon Young also talks about “nature smart” in a You Tube clip from his own experience over 30 years working with children and youth in the wilderness.
He also points out that Nature Connection is the foundation of a healthy and vibrant Culture as it is really through Nature Connection that we can deeply connect to ourself and then others.
Watch Richard Louv: Nature Deficit Disorder
Watch Jon Young: Deep Nature Connection
Nurturing Respect for Nature
Forest School is so important in our time of uncertainty and climate change, to build resilience and resourcefulness into our children so they can react and adapt appropriately in different circumstances.
And finally Nature Connection develops love and respect for Nature, the realisation of our interconnectedness and our role as humans to take good care of it to secure our future on earth.