The woodland is magical all year round, but perhaps it's never quite as magical as on crisp, clear, bright mornings when the ice crackles under foot and all around us is glistening and sparkling. The woods sound different on these mornings, ice can amplify sounds as it reflects the sound waves whereas a snowfall absorbs sound, bringing a special sort of quiet and stillness. At least, until the Wildlings get stuck into some snow play :)
There's so much fun to be had and so much to learn from these magical winter days; exploring different textures, using a myriad of descriptive language, sculpting with it, painting on it, creating ice ornaments, exploring freezing and melting points as well as all the fun of sliding, smashing and stomping!
But it's not always easy adjusting to the cold weather. We might make spending a full day in -5 degrees look effortless, but it is because after 3 years we are really good at what we do!
It has taken a great deal of trial and error to source the right clothes for both the children and adults, to ensure that we're all able to stay warm and dry whatever the weather. There has been painstaking research and multiple fundraising events to provide the funds to purchase the correct kit such as our tent and everything that we need to cover the curriculum outside. We've worked through the problems we encountered with getting kit in and out of the woods, and found solutions to ensure our day to day life has everything we need and that the children are comfortable, and most of all happy! That is not forgetting the vast amount of training and coaching that staff have received. Most importantly, making it look easy takes a team who work really hard and are passionate and dedicated to what we do and recognise the benefits for the children.
So, HOW do we do it? To ensure we keep warm we:
🧤 Make sure we are wearing lots of warm layers, gloves, hats and waterproofs that actually keep any water out for the whole day 🧤
🏃 Keep active by playing games, exploring the woods and climbing 🏃
☕ Drink warm drinks and have hot food at snack time to warm up our insides☕
⛺ Eat lunch in our new super-dooper large tent with insulated mattresses and snuggly blankets ⛺
We want to thank all the Wildlings families following our advice, layering your children up and buying the kit we suggested. It makes our side of things much easier when the children come dressed well!
And WHY do we do it?
💪Going outside in all weathers teaches children how to handle the elements, to keep going when things get a bit tough, and to have fun even when the situation may not be quite so favourable💪
❄️ The colder weather gives us a chance to marvel at nature from a different perspective. Each season brings its own beauty and gives the children opportunities to discover new wonders; an icy leaf, a frost covered spiders web and a misty morning turning in to a bright, crisp day ❄️
🍂 The children enjoy a different sensory experience as they walk over crunchy icy leaves underfoot, or make patterns with warm fingers across icy surfaces to make marks 🍂
🥾 They discover that puddles that were once muddy are now hard and slippery with ice 🥾
🗣️ There's a change in our descriptive language as we discover new words to describe our surroundings. and discuss the changes we see🗣️
🌳Daily outdoor time has been proven to help with anxiety, focus, and provide a positive mood boost for all- what’s not to love about that!🌳
🚶♂️To make getting physically active outdoors a normal part of their day regardless of the weather in order to develop positive attitudes and the habit of moving their bodies 🏃♀️