Very often when one is outdoors with children, the adult learning intention is lost. For example, during the holidays I took my son to Chester’s Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. The piles of stone interested him a little. The bath house was a huge source of amusement as he worked out which rooms were communal bathing rooms and where the toilets were. MJ could also appreciate the rather clever under floor heating systems which, 1900 years on, we still do not have in our own house.
What really inspired my son were the steep banks going down to the bath house. He spent a good half an hour running up to the top and rolling and sliding down. It had been raining earlier on and as MJ was wearing waterproof jacket and trousers, he remained as dry as toast. The bath house area echoed his peels of laughter and helpless giggles as he clambered, climbed, slipped and slid.
Next we went slug hunting. MJ noticed the large numbers of slugs which had appeared. Within minutes, I had 16 on the back of my hand with MJ trying to see how many species he could find. He was desperate to find a ginger coloured slug to present to his friends with hair colour to match.
So although the original idea had been to amaze and daze my son with 2000 year old remains of a former empire, the learning ended up being a little wider and more diverse. Without a doubt the waterproofs were essential to his fun and freedom. He was wearing Raindrops gear which is very popular with many Forest Schools, not least because it’s trade prices (not displayed on the website) are incredibly good value at around £23 per set of trousers and jackets for children.