Enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather, this part of London offers such rich green spaces. Go for a stomp on the Heath and you can very quickly forget that you are in London. Taking the C2 or 214 up to Parli Hill or Waterlow Park is part of the adventure. The 134 stops just outside Highgate and Queen’s Woods. Invest in some good quality outdoor clothing. Think ski rather than rainwear to keep both warm and dry.
Woodentots recommends polarnopyret.co.uk and raindrops.co.uk as both stock Swedish children’s clothing where they really know their stuff. Children need clothes they can move in, layering is the key, waterproof mittens are perfect to pull on and off to explore finds. Snoods/balaclavas are much more practical than a scarf. Buy a size too big and it will last a few years. Warm insulated boots are a must, to keep little toes toasty. At our Nature Nursery we go out every day, taking a flask of hot chocolate. Returning to our warm and welcoming classroom feels like coming home.
Visitors to our Rochester Road School are often surprised to see our ‘enchanted’ garden. At just over 100ft this is rare in London and we make good use of it. The garden can be a sensory experience during winter. We have a fire pit where the children are able to cook their bread over an open fire. We introduce Forest School tools, such as a bow saw and hand drill to make name cookies and use potato peelers for whittling. Clay is readily available for the children to create in 3D, there are planters for growing herbs, and the mint is picked to make tea with.
What to Take with You
• Take binoculars for bird watching.
• Take a bug box to study insects more closely.
• Den building – in both Highgate and Queen’s Woods you will see many structures to inspire or to add to. You could also buy a tarpaulin and bungee clips from a pound store.
• Take a few plastic animals or dinosaurs to inspire role-play.