GROW-Wellbeing Wirral, Forest School Workshop review

Here’s my review of the Family Forest Workshop with GROW-Wellbeing in Birkenhead, Wirral.

My son and I participated in a Family Forest Workshop with GROW-Wellbeing in Wirral. We had lots of fun exploring their woodland area, making crafts, and toasting marshmallows! Here’s further information and what I thought.

What is GROW-Wellbeing?

GROW-Wellbeing is based in Wirral and Merseyside. GROW-Wellbeing C.I.C. is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers creative, personally affirmative opportunities for children, young people, and adults to engage in activities in the natural environment.

A little boy at forest school playing outdoors.

Their mission is to support healthy communities strongly connected to the natural environment. To achieve this, they deliver programmes that build relationships between people. They are committed to diversity, intergenerational cooperation, and the natural world.

​Using forest learning, creative arts, storytelling, nature studies, outdoor adventures, games, play, and eco-therapy, they aim to support the growth and development of resilient children and young people who are committed to the future stewardship of the natural environment.

GROW-Wellbeing Wirral, Family Forest Workshop review

We attended one of their Family Forest Workshops at Tam O’Shanter Farm woodland. Both me and my son loved every minute and highly recommend it to anyone who wants their children to take some time away from everyday life and enjoy everything nature offers.

Little boy at forest school.

We were the first to arrive at the session and were impressed with its layout. There were many little sections to explore and free-play with while waiting for the session to begin.

This was the first forest school session my son had attended away from preschool, so he was a little shy initially. This free play time allowed him to meet the staff, get his bearings, and feel comfortable. The lovely welcoming staff and woodland soft toys helped, too!

Forest school in Birkenhead.

We played on the swing and hammock and got stuck in the mud kitchen section. There were lots of tools to get involved and play with.

Little boy playing with a mud kitchen outdoors.

Fire safety, clay modelling, and exploring the forest

We started the session gathered around the fire pit and were given some essential fire safety information. Then we learned about hares, and the children were very engaged and loved answering questions.

We then headed straight into our first activity, moulding and decorating clay with natural materials. This was lots of fun, and seeing the children concentrating and getting creative with nature was lovely.

Clay modelling with natural materials.

Journey sticks

We were asked to find and choose a stick and then gather around the fire, where we learned how to whittle them safely. Duane and the other forest school leaders were all really engaging, and the children were attentive and got to work whittling and decorating their own journey sticks.

It was nice to do something mindful outdoors with my child and see his pride in using tools and creating something special from nature.

Journey stick.

After some more free play, we all gathered around the fire for a final time to toast marshmallows and enjoy delicious s’mores!

The session was impressive. It was a great way to spend quality time with my son, meet new people, and enjoy much-needed outdoor time.

Boy by firepit eating marshmallow.

What else does GROW-Wellbeing offer?

Grow-Wellbeing supports schools and nurseries in Wirral and Merseyside by offering workshops and Forest School programs focused on nature-connected activities.

The staff consists of experienced and qualified Forest School leaders and Outdoor Learning Practitioners. They recognise that the natural environment can offer a wide range of benefits, including the provision of forest school-type activities outdoors, promoting the health and well-being of children with additional learning needs, assisting children in need of post-SATS or COVID recovery well-being, and providing an alternative educational environment for those requiring complementary forest education.

Additionally, they offer workshops that focus on facilitating creativity in the forest and family workshops designed to encourage parents to support and follow their children’s interests. The workshops and programs are tailored to each school or nursery’s specific needs and environment in collaboration with Grow-Wellbeing.

They also offer a Forest School Leader course, holiday adventure clubs, a woodcarving club, community gardening opportunities, and much more! Click here to learn more.

Spending time outdoors with my son is very important to me. We loved our session with Grow-Wellbeing, and I cannot recommend the team enough.

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