The summer holidays are here and like many parents, although I’m looking forward to camping trips, duvet days and beach time with the kids, there is also a certain part of me wondering exactly how to fill the six long empty weeks looming ahead of us.
Many of the staff here at South West Outdoors Group are parents so we all know that, despite loving time with our kids during the holidays, parents still need to steal just a little bit of time for themselves. That is why we offer our incredibly popular Holiday Clubs throughout August at both our Exeter and Exmouth sites.
Running from 10am-3pm, our Holiday Clubs give your young folk the chance to let their hair down and unleash their wild in the woods, building fires and dens, playing games and making new friends, free from desks, workbooks and parents.
Chris manages our Forest School at Exeter and when asked about Holiday Clubs he said,
Our forest school holiday clubs use our beautiful woodland as the ultimate kids playground. With freedom to explore and invent, the experienced leaders challenge the children to go beyond their comfort zones when needed. And if they just want to lay back in a hammock and listen to the birds that’s fine too! Every day is different because every child is different. Sometimes we might spend the whole day building dens and fires, other days might be total Harry Potter when wands and broomsticks are magicked into existence. Whatever we end up doing, there’s laughter, challenge and friendship, which is why our children come back time and time again.
Personally, as a parent, what appeals to me over other holiday clubs is the free-range approach that forest school naturally offers. Structure, routine and timetabled activities go out the window and all that matters is exploring the woods and having a great time.
The leaders are amazing at following the curiosities and desires of the children attending and every time my kids have come back, they’ve had different tales to tell of what they’ve been up to that day. Whether that be having a den building competition, examining some interesting looking creatures, cooling off in the stream on a hot day, partaking in some campfire cooking or being whisked away to a fantasy land for the day, no two holiday clubs are ever the same. Come rain or shine, they always arrive back in the car park looking weary, in dire need of a bath and with the biggest smile I’ve seen in a long time.
One of the best things about Forest School is how inclusive it is. You can use childcare vouchers (and there’s a sibling discount) so hopefully it is accessible for kids from all walks of life.
But be aware….word is spreading and unsurprisingly, our clubs are booking up faster every year, so don’t miss out on the chance to give yourselves a break and your kids some amazing experiences in the woods this summer.
Head over to our Holiday Clubs page for dates and more information.
Hannah Durdin, long term forest school parent and our training administrator (and regular blogger!)