Happy Bunnies

I’m going to miss my little group of woodland adventurers. Sure, some of them will be around next term, but it’s been an amazing experience getting to know this group – and having the privilege of watching them change so much in such a short space of time.
At the beginning I saw:
– a child who was timid and wanted to hold my hand and stay very near. Today he told me: ‘This is easy, I don’t need your help Jenni. ‘
– a child who was scared of mud, puddles, insects and catkins. Today she held a worm and slid on her bum down a muddy bank.
– a child who often wouldn’t take the lead. Today she made most of the decisions, organised us and kept everyone going with songs.
– a child whose mum has complained that she won’t walk more than 10 steps without asking for a carry. Today she walked up hill and down, across fields and along the river – and never once complained.
What’s the link? The forest. Because it gives the children freedom. It gives them challenges and something to aim for. Because no matter what they accomplish, somewhere in the forest there’s a higher tree, a heavier stone or a steeper bank. And for every little success, they grow a mile in confidence.
And no, I’m not this enthusiastic because I’m hoping to raise the next generation of Olympic tree climbers. But in the forest, children are learning confidence – and they are having fun. And that’s what childhood is all about.

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