Saturday, June 19, 2021

Forest School Wild Play

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Forest School Wild Play is a sensible and exuberant guide to outdoor fun by Jane Worroll. Released 8th June 2021 by Watkins,  it's 168 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is a fun and healthy learning-rich guide for facilitators (and older kids)which contains tips and tutorials for engaging play activities outdoors. The chapters are grouped thematically by primal element: earth, air, fire, and water. The activities are appropriate for a wide age range and the number of suggested participants as well as safety considerations are provided by the authors along with alternatives and related activities. 

Many of the activities are appropriate for all ages, from preschool kids through teenagers. Tutorials are presented with info on setting, ages, learning goals, tools and supplies, and optional alternative activities. The step by step instructions which follow are well written and specific. "Try this" tips are scattered throughout the text in highlighted text sidebars. I really liked that the authors had a mostly hands-off style of engagement, suggesting to teachers and facilitators that they provide the minimum of intervention and only then in regard to safety. 

The graphics and illustrations are woodsy and really suit the style of the book. The text and layout are high contrast and easy to read with monochrome line drawn illustrations throughout. There are no photographs, but the illustrations are easy to follow and add a lot of character to the book. I didn't miss not having photographs and think the execution was very much in keeping with the outdoorsy vibe of the book.

Although it's aimed at kids, there is a quite surprising amount of bushcraft and practical survival advice contained here. There are also a lot of fun activities (making a bullroarer, simple kite, and wood whistle for example) which hide lots of practical skills. 

Five stars. This is a -very- well written and presented book. It would make a superlative choice for public or school library acquisition, makers' groups, youth activity groups, and similar.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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