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Woodland play boosts young
9:00am Sunday 6th January 2013 in News
Playing in the woods can have a dramatic effect on children’s lives, a new report by a Keighley woman claims.
Annie Berrington says that taking part in ‘forest schools’ improves youngsters’ behaviour, confidence and teamwork skills.
She wrote the report after talking to fellow members of Bradford Forest Schools Network who run outdoor sessions in local woods.
Forest schools involve activities such as games, arts and crafts, den-building, challenges, foraging and making campfires.
Following six years of subsidised support from Bradford Council, the district has more than 60 qualified forest school practitioners, including teachers and play workers.
Annie, from Hainworth, who runs forest school company Get Out More, said her research provided evidence that the activities motivated children in many ways.
She said: “All the practitioners could demonstrate how forest schools are improving confidence and how this had a long-term impact on participants. The teamworking, creative and reflective nature of a forest school promotes great co-operation and self-expression, encouraging quieter children to join in and speak out.”
Annie said the combination of physical activities and outdoor freedom had a positive effect on children with behaviour issues or learning difficulties.