Wednesdays this Summer, Let’s Take a Walk in the Woods!
Remember that special outdoor space you went to as a child? Perhaps it was a backyard, a neighbourhood park, a local forest, or even a vacant lot? No matter where it may have been, you probably had a ball exploring the sights and sounds around you, setting your imagination free in the great outdoors.
I was lucky enough to grow up in the Okanagan Valley surrounded by cherry orchards and pine forests. As a kid, I spent most of my time making forts amongst the trees and running barefoot over pine needles, my dog Checkers in tow. My parents let me have the run of the place and indulged my Huck Finn fantasies, which culminated in a thwarted attempt to run away from home at the tender age of six, with only a bindle full of “supplies” to my name. Though I may have been a bit ahead of myself on the leaving home front, my parents knew one thing for sure: I didn’t lack for imagination!
In the hustle and bustle of the city, it can be difficult to find the time and space to play freely in wild places. This is what Forest School is all about: taking time out of our urban existence to feel the dirt beneath our feet, to free our bodies and minds from the confines of the man-made world. Preschool-aged children are the perfect age to whip up pies in a mud kitchen or create homes for imaginary creatures in the nooks and crannies of fallen trees. Getting dirty, climbing rocks, and making our way safely and happily through the forest are all part of the Forest School experience.
Our first walk in the woods was spent at the UBC Botanical Gardens’ Greenheart TreeWalk. We trekked through the BC Rainforest Garden to find a magical world in the trees. Hesitant at first, Roland and Locklyn learned to love crossing the “wobbly” suspension bridges which took us from one tree to another. Imaginations running wild, Josiah and Ever went back and forth between dodging icebergs to avoiding the “hot lava” of the forest floor. Despite the long walk, Jasper conquered the TreeWalk’s highest lookout point before returning to solid ground. Fears conquered and heights scaled, we headed back to Buddings to regale parents and friends with stories of our adventure.
Join us for Forest School on Wednesdays from 1-5pm this summer for some good old-fashioned forest fun! Remember to dress for a mess, and check out our Summer Journeys page for a complete list of our upcoming outdoor adventures.