Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do when it rains?
We love the rain! The rain highlights spider webs; it lets us make boats that float downhill; it gives us puddles for splashing; it makes mud. If the children are warm and dry, they just keep playing. Some children like to shelter in thicker trees or tents when it rains; others keep playing in the open ground. All the children have waterproofs, and we always have spares.
Where do children go to the toilet?
We are planning to build a compost toilet! In the meantime, we have a camp toilet, the same size as a regular toilet, inside a tent. We help children who need help, and we change nappies for children in nappies.
How do children wash their hands?
We have an insulated hand washing station with liquid soap and warm running water.
Do you have indoor space available?
Yes. We can usually keep the children warm and dry with waterproof clothes, active playing, fires, tents, tipis, and blankets, but we also have an indoor hall and kitchen that we can use if needed.
What do you do it gets cold?
We keep active by exploring the forest and playing. We also light fires, drink hot chocolate, and rest with blankets and sleeping bags inside a warm tipi. If the children are getting wet and cold, then we go to our indoor space to change clothes, play, drink hot chocolate, and decide what to do.
We closely watch our children to keep them from getting cold. All the children have waterproofs and wear layers of clothing underneath, and we always have spare waterproofs and clothes.
What do you do when it is cold and windy?
If it is so windy that we would feel unsafe in the woods, then we go to our indoor space. Usually, though, we can go to more sheltered spaces in the woods, or play in an open field without trees.
What happens when children get tired?
We have a quiet period after lunch every day. Depending on the weather, we have blankets and sleeping bags in tents or the tipi, or hammocks and a fire or a circle outside. All the children have a wee rest while listening to a few stories; afterwards, some children take naps, and others go out to play some more.
Are your days structured?
All of our days follow the same natural rhythm and routine. We meet at the same spot every morning, say our morning mantra together and then sing our journey song as we walk to the woods. We take the same route into the woods each day, often chatting to our neighbours on the way. When we reach our play space, we unpack our things and have free play time. We operate a free flow system for snack and lunch which gives children the opportunity to eat and rest within a large timeframe. Staff eat lunch with the children in small groups. Sometimes we go for adventures to the river or to other play spaces in the woods. At the end of the day, we all come together once again for stories and songs before we trek out of the woods to meet our families.
Will my child be ready to sit down and learn in P1?
Active playing is the best way to prepare for sitting in school. There is a lot of research showing that children's nervous systems need lots of big, whole-body movements--what we call "gross motor skills"--before children are physically ready to sit at a desk and write with pencil and paper (fine motor skills). The paths that we play on aren't flat: It is often challenging for children just to walk without tripping when they first arrive. As they gain confidence and begin running, and jumping, on the uneven terrain, their nervous systems are developing to prepare them for sitting down and using their fine motor skills in school.
What if my child doesn't like it?
Children love playing outside, where there are always things to see and do. We want to instil a love of the natural world in children encourage this through nurturing, respectful interactions. Parents and children can give us a try at open days, and we work closely with parents during our induction process. It is important to us to develop trust with families and children. We will be honest with you and if we, or you, feel our kindergarten is not a good fit for your child, we will support transition to another setting.
Can I visit?
Yes, of course. We have regular open days; please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for future dates.