We recently took part in a family forest workshop with GROW-Wellbeing in Wirral. We had lots of fun exploring their woodland area, making crafts, and of course, toasting marshmallows! Here’s what we thought…
GROW-Wellbeing is based in Wirral and Merseyside. GROW-Wellbeing C.I.C. is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers creative, personally affirmative opportunities for children, young people, and adults to engage in activities in the natural environment. Their mission is to support healthy communities, strongly connected to the natural environment. To achieve this, they deliver programmes aimed at building relationships between people, with a commitment to diversity and inter-generational co-operation, and the natural world.
Using forest learning, creative arts, storytelling, nature studies, outdoor adventures, games, play, and eco-therapy, they aim to support the growth and development of resilient children and young people, committed to the future stewardship of the natural environment.
We attended one of their Family Forest Workshops at Tam O’Shanter farm woodland. We loved every minute and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants their children to take some time away from everyday life and enjoy everything nature has to offer.
We were the first people to arrive at the session and we were really impressed with the layout. There were lots of little sections to explore and free play with while waiting for the session to begin. This was the first forest school session my son has ever attended away from preschool so he was a little shy at the beginning and this free play time came him a chance to meet the staff, get his bearings, and feel comfortable. The lovely welcoming staff and woodland soft toys definitely helped too!
We spent some time playing on the swing and hammock and getting stuck in the mud kitchen section. There were lots of tools to get really involved and play with.
We started the session gathered around the fire pit and we were given some essential fire safety. We learned some information about Hare’s and the children at the session loved answering questions. We then headed straight into our first activity which was molding and decorating clay with natural materials. This was lots of fun and lovely to see all of the children concentrating and getting creative with nature.
We were asked to find and choose a stick and then all gathered around the fire where we learned how to whittle them safely. Duane and the other forest school leaders were all really engaging and the children were attentive and got to work whittling and decorating their own journey sticks. It was really nice to do something mindful outdoors with my child and seeing his pride in using tools and creating something special from nature.
After some more free play, we all gathered around the fire for a final time to toast marshmallows and enjoy delicious smores! I was really impressed with the session, it was a great way to spend quality time with my son, meet new people and enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. We will definitely be booking into the stay and play sessions or family sessions again.
GROW-Wellbeing Forest School Sessions
Kinder Garden Stay’n’Play | 12 months – 4 years
Sessions may include a sensory walk through their woodland area, touching, feeling, looking, and listening whilst collecting and interacting with trees, leaves, and insects (and other adults and children). The session is unhurried but responsive to the needs and interests of your little ones – the mud kitchen area is always popular, but there are lots of other resources, natural and brought, and there is always something for them to engage with, including just ‘being’ in the woods!
Woodland Explorers | 5-14 years
Woodland Explorers is for slightly more independent 5-14-year-olds, with a greater sense of adventure. Children and young people can explore the magical Woodland Glade at Tam O’Shanter Farm with lots of free play, which children relish, but the leaders also initiate activities connected with the natural world, including games, challenges, discovery, creativity, problem-solving, and forest craft skills.
Children love it when they get a chance to den build or learn how to light a fire using fire steel! These sessions always finish off with hot chocolate, toasted apple, and marshmallows! Drop them off with waterproofs and wellies, and pick them up after the 2-hour session.
Family Forest Workshops
Family Forest fun activities in a woodland glade including storytelling, nature craft, den building, and marshmallows over the campfire. Opportunities for exploring the woodland, craft activities with natural materials, and opportunities for exploration, curiosity, and imagination… a woodland quest and finish off by toasting marshmallows for s’mores!