Recommended Books

While we recommend the books for fun, any required reading will be posted individually in the course catalog.

Foraging with Kids

In today’s world of increasingly sedentary lifestyles and a growing detachment from the food that we eat, it has never been more important to encourage children to put down their screens, get outside and engage with the natural world around them. Foraging with Kids is a fun, practical book for parents to work through with their children that encourages families to interact with their environment and gain knowledge and practical understanding of the natural world through exploration and play. The projects are based around 50 easy-to-identify plants that are abundant in parks, forests and hedgerows worldwide, making the challenge of discovering functional flora just as achievable to those who live in the city as in the countryside. Once they have foraged their plants, children will be amazed by the diverse practical uses that they can set them to; from making soap from conkers or setting a delicious egg-free custard with plantain, to stopping minor cuts from bleeding with hedge woundwort. Children will take great pride in seeing their gatherings forming part of the family meal and parents will be amazed at how even the most vegetable-averse child will develop an enthusiastic appetite for a meal that they have contributed to. Illustrated throughout with beautiful hand drawings and with essential information on plant facts and identification, as well as a diverse range of engaging, practical projects that the whole family will want to get involved with, this is the perfect book for anyone who wants the children under their care to get outside, connect with nature and have a lot of fun in the process.

The Outdoor Classroom in Practice

The Outdoor Classroom in Practice, Ages 3-7 offers guidance on how the outdoors can be used to teach and challenge children across a range of settings by drawing on forest school practice. Following a month-by-month format, it explores theme-related play experiences, planning, evaluations of how the ideas described were carried out and what impact they had on children’s learning and development.

Written by a leading authority on forest school practice, this book aims to inspire and help practitioners make the most of the outdoor environment all year round.

This fully updated second edition includes:

  • over 150 new full-colour photographs to illustrate practice
  • activities and objectives for both early years and KS1, including links to indoor play
  • discussion and support for those working with children with special educational needs
  • detailed information on the role of the adult and of the environment
  • sections covering health and safety guidelines and specific risk assessment in all chapters

A Year of Forest School

Following on from the bestselling Play the Forest School Way, here is a brilliant selection of brand-new games, crafts and activities to get kids developing new skills and exploring the natural world all year round. Structured around the four seasons of the year, each chapter is packed full of step-by-step Forest School games and activities that harmonize with the weather and what’s happening in nature at that time of year, with a nod to seasonal festivals such as Easter and Christmas. In spring, for example, you could make a mud birthday cake to celebrate Earth Day on 22 April, or (inspired by bird song) craft sistrums from sticks and bottle tops, or make a clay hare and enjoy dandelion tea and a chocolate egg hunt at a spring day out. At Forest School, children return to the same location again and again, building a lasting connection with a specific part of the natural world, and this book in its year-round approach will bring this aspect of Forest School play to the fore. Each of the four seasonal chapters includes a description of an extended session (combining active and quieter activities plus, for some, an idea for foraging/cooking) to guide Forest School leaders planning themed days and parents looking for party inspiration or nature days out. The Forest School ethos of nature-based play and learning that encourages children to develop confidence, self-esteem and emotional intelligence is exactly what’s needed in an era when childhood problems such as obesity and anxiety are on the rise. Woven through the year are stories from the authors’ own Forest School classes, as they make a passionate case for the importance of ensuring children’s access to nature and the incredible benefits they will gain from being outside, even in the heart of a city.

A Kid’s Herb Book

Explore the mysterious world of herbs with this magical, herbal workbook: Make your own healing potions, secret remedies, magical salves, enchanted syrups and special healing remedies. Recipes, projects, delightful stories, chant herbal songs, color in pictures, activities, grow your own garden, create healing herbal preparations!