Playful Nature for Schools
We provide Curriculum linked learning experiences to inspire children and ignite their curiosity and imagination. Our work includes Forest Schools, seasonal awareness, science and ecology, outdoor creativity and music, and staff training. We can come to your school or work with you in a range of inspiring locations! We offer 10 years experience of working with school, Early Years, youth and special needs groups in Cumbria.
Browse these pages for a range of sessions and workshops we can offer, or get in touch about bespoke work and training provision.
Creativity, play and outdoor experiences are vital to children’s health, happiness, learning and development…to help them understand themselves and each other, gain confidence, learn to manage risk and express themselves. We all know this instinctively, and often have strong memories of our own experiences in the great outdoors as children. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer opportunities for children to access these experiences in our modern word. ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ and the associated impact on health, well-being and sense of connection to the environment is now well documented. It is vital that our children have opportunities to experience all that the outdoors environment has to offer, and through this learn to value and protect it.
We recognise that teachers are under a lot of pressure to meet targets and deliver a jam packed curriculum. It can be difficult to fit outdoor and creative learning into that, especially with the hoops you must jump through to get children out of the classroom. Playful Nature aims to make that easy for you! We provide full Risk Assessments, and plan all the activities so that you can relax and enjoy the experience alongside your children.
Playful Nature was founded by outdoor practitioner, musician and ecology graduate Amy Boud in 2011. Read more about Amy’s skills, experience and qualifications here.
Playful Nature offers outdoor opportunities to support a wide range of learning outcomes, not least a sense of joy and wonder!
We are specialists in Forest Schools which takes a holistic approach to learning, aiming to develop the whole child. There is an emphasis on personal and social skills such as self-awareness, self-esteem, communication skills, empathy and independence, as it is recognised that these attributes can ‘unlock’ potential in other areas and create happy healthy people. It is child led, and ideally delivered on a regular basis with small groups of children. This work is invaluable for all children, but especially beneficial for those children who struggle to concentrate in a classroom environment..
Science and Ecology
We offer opportunities to learn about habitats, living things, and seasonal awareness, to ignite a sense of wonder, and to help you meet your curriculum goals. This can take place at your setting/local area or at a range of exciting locations.
These experiences can provide a rich source of inspiration for work back in the classroom, from creative writing to science. Outdoor learning can also help with levels of confidence and motivation.
Contact us to explore how we can work together.
Music and Creativity
We are passionate about supporting children to express themselves instinctively and playfully! This can be through music or other forms of creativity such as ‘wild art’, and can take place indoors or in the Great Outdoors.
…is one of our specialisms! The outdoors environment is a great place to gain inspiration for music making, especially when we tap into the sounds and rhythms of the non-human world. We can support your children to develop listening skills, compose, write songs, create musical scores, improvise, develop rhythms, and find or make their own instruments. This work can be linked in with the science, maths, and literacy curriculum.
Early Years Music
We are experienced at delivering Early Years and Key Stage 1 music. We deliver ‘imaginary musical journeys’, which usually take place indoors, and allow your children to co-create an adventure, through story and song, often guided by a magical character. These sessions are wonderful for developing the imagination and musical skills in young children. We also offer more traditional song sessions for 0-4 year olds and bespoke sessions to fit your aims and themes.
Playful Nature delivers curriculum linked activities at a range of exciting locations.
One of the largest forests in England, and a sculpture park as well, Grizedale is a great place to learn about ecology and explore creativity. The forest is awe inspiring with mature trees, magical mosses and ferns, deer, red kites, buzzards, red squirrels, and has a range of accessible routes and exciting ‘off the beaten track’ locations. Playful Nature delivers educational sessions (through ‘Classrooms in the Forest’, the activity providers at Grizedale) to stimulate the mind, the senses and the imagination amongst the trees! Contact us for more information or see the Grizedale website for more info on the forest.
Hay Bridge Nature Reserve
Tucked away in the Rusland Valley between Windermere and Coniston, Hay Bridge is a hidden gem. With beautiful woodland, tarns, and fenland, the site is diverse habitat for a range of exciting wildlife, including Ospreys, Otters, and rare butterflies and moths. A great place for pond dipping, wildlife watching and forest schools!