top of page

Childhood Development and the Benefits of Forest Schools

Forest schools are an exciting opportunity for children to learn with their hands and are becoming increasingly popular with parents. According to a survey of 200 establishments by the Forest School Association (FSA), two-thirds have seen a rise in requests for places since March 2020. These schools encourage children to ditch the computer screen and spend more time outdoors – and considering children aged 5-7 years old spend an average of 4 hours behind a screen every day, the need for outdoor education has never been clearer.

If you're thinking about it for your child, here are four key skills that children can develop when attending forest schools:

Social and communication skills

Forest schools are a great way for children to socialise with their peers. Whether they’re jumping in muddy puddles or foraging for wild berries, children are able to work within a team and complete their tasks. In fact, research from Plymouth University found that 93% of forest schools believed children developed their social skills whilst enrolled.

Confidence and independence

If your child exhibits any signs of social anxiety, it may be harder for them to take part. However, participating in forest schools can actually boost confidence. This is a slow process that will progress over time, and it is different for each child.

A sense of independence is particularly important for children. As well as building the social skills to work well within a team, forest schools offer the chance to complete tasks by themselves. This includes a range of activities, such as charting the species of plants or flowers they find in a specific outdoor area.

Motor and cognitive abilities

Forest schools allow children to stay active. Not only is this regular exercise important for bone and muscle strength, but it is also instrumental in developing childhood motor skills. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or rain clouds are looming, children are able to boot up in girl’s or boy’s wellies and let the outdoor learning commence. Physical activity could also improve cognitive function in children. These include the ability to recall information and flexible thinking.

A sustainable mindset

Sustainability is at the forefront of society. As the nation strives to achieve net-zero, teaching children about the environment has never been more important. After all, they are the future minds of tomorrow, and we should continue to educate them as best as we can.

Forest schools may be the answer. During these lessons, children develop a sustainable mindset. This is a lot more likely than a child who spends most of their time inside, whether this is at home or in a classroom.


10 views0 comments


bottom of page