08 Apr 2014, Catherine Gaunt
Nature Tots, a parent and toddler group focusing on engaging young children in wildlife and outdoor activities, is based on the Forest School programme and offers six-session programmes of woodland activities, games and singing for accompanied children aged between three and five.
Each session helps children to develop basic bushcraft skills, toast marshmallows, and learn woodland songs and games. All activities are linked to the seven areas of learning.
New two-hour weekly sessions will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 22 April at Tilgate Park near Crawley.
Extra sessions will also be added to existing programmes at Seven Sisters Country Park near Eastbourne and Woods Mill Nature Reserve near Henfield to meet growing demand.
Sue Curnock, Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Tots officer, said, ‘Our aim is to get pre-school children engaged with wildlife and outdoor activity and it seems to be working! The Tots just love being able to play freely out in the woods, working with natural materials.
‘This term we've made mud faces on trees, built nests for ourselves to sit in and been on an Easter “eggsploration” hunt in the woods, I'm not sure who has enjoyed it all the most, the Tots, the parents, Sussex Wildlife Trust staff, or our wonderful volunteer helpers.'
Sussex Wildlife Trust also provides accredited Forest School training for nursery school staff.