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  • What is forest school?
    Forest school is outdoor, nature-based learning that focuses on the holistic development of the child. In forest school, open ended activities are set up; children choose how they interpret the activity and tailor it to suit them. For example, in the mud kitchen they might choose to mix lots of mud in one container, others might make mud muffins, or soup. They might spend time pouring water from one container to another. Adults, observe and let their child take the lead. Forest School enables children to learn new skills, take and manage risks, and the activities help to develop confidence, self-esteem, imagination and physical ability as they are allowed to test their own limits in a natural setting.
  • Who runs Wild Things?
    Wild Things was set up by Emma Hill. She currently runs all of the sessions. During the Explorer sessions we also have an assistant, Michelle Smith. Michelle use to attend sessions with her daughter so know Wild Things really well. All staff have an up to date DBS certificate and have completed online Safe Guarding Training.
  • How do I book & how much do sessions cost?
    All bookings are through a booking system, Bookwhen: There is an online booking form to fill out so Wild Things knows how old the children are, if they have any allergies or additional needs, and some important contact details from the parent/carer coming to the session. We book half term at a time – this gives families chance to really feel at home at Wild Things, as well as giving the children chance to develop new skills. All sessions are paid for in advance via the booking system. Cost of sessions: Explorer sessions - £10 per session - this includes activities, hot chocolate for the child, hot drink for the adult and marshmallow toasting for the child. Woodland Play sessions - £8.50 per session - this includes activities, hot chocolate for the pre-schooler and a hot drink for the adult. We want Wild Things to be accessible for all families who wish to come and do not want their financial situation to prevent them from coming. If you are currently on a low income please choose the Inclusive Access Ticket, which costs £8.00 per session. Updated: February 2024
  • Why am I not getting any emails or newsletters even though I’ve signed up?
    Umm at the moment lots of my emails are going into people’s spam! So please do check this. If you can add Wild Things’ email as a known contact, this will help to stop this from happening. Our email address is emma@wildthingsyork.co.uk
  • Do I get a refund if we can’t make a session because we are poorly or on holiday?
    I’m afraid we can’t offer refunds when you or your child/ren is ill or on holiday. Coming to Wild Things operates like other groups and activities such as swimming, gym clubs etc. You pay for your space, whether you are able to attend or not.
  • How do I join the waiting list?
    If the class you are interested in is fully booked go onto the booking page, select the day you are interested in, then click on the button ‘waiting list’ and enter your contact details as promoted. The booking page is:
  • How does the waiting list work?
    Families who already attend the class get priority booking for a limited time and the booking page is password protected. After this Emma emails all the families on the waiting list with a date and time of when the tickets will be released. The waiting list will be given a password they can use on that day. When the tickets are released families can book. Tickets tend to get booked quickly so it’s worth taking note of the day & time tickets are released. By adding your name to the waiting list you are giving Emma permission to keep your email address on the waiting list. Anytime you would like to come off the waiting list you can click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email.
  • What procedures are in place for managing Covid 19?
    As Wild Things is entirely outdoors it is believed that the chances of contracting Covid-19 are much reduced. Fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus. It also helps to evaporate the liquid droplets in which it is carried. Currently we ask all families to wash their hands before they enter the site, this way we can have shared resources out for the children to play with. We recommend families to wash their hands become coming around the campfire for refreshments. We also ask families not to come to Wild Things if they, or their child is showing signs of Covid-19.
  • What age are the sessions for?
    During term time Wild Things runs: Explorer sessions for 18 months – 4 year olds Woodland Play for babies & pre-schoolers - this is a mixed age group and is ideal for babies, young toddlers and pre-schoolers who don't need an afternoon nap!
  • What can I expect from Woodland Play (babies, young toddlers & pre-schoolers)?
    Woodland Play – is a group for babies & pre-schoolers. These sessions are aimed to develop & stimulate the children’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. They help the babies & pre-schoolers to explore and naturally discover through play. They have chance to play in the mud kitchen, sand pit, with treasure baskets & sensory bottles. They explore woodland treasures, such as pine cones & logs. We paint using natural resources like apples, flowers & leaves. It also gives the babies & pre-schoolers chance to socialise. These are great sessions for pre-schoolers who no longer need their afternoon nap! But importantly it’s also for parents and carers to meet other adults, to make friends and support each other. We have a campfire some weeks, where we gather to enjoy a hot drink and campfire snack.
  • What do the children do during the Explorers sessions (for 18 months - 4 years?)
    Wild Things Explorers runs for children who are 18 months to 4 years. During the sessions there are lots of child-led activities for the children. The mud kitchen & sand pit is always open, we have cosy corners for reading stories and drawing. There are hammocks to swing in, and drainpipes to roll things down. We have a tool area where we have hammers, nails and a hand drill. There are logs to move around to create obstacle courses. We have bug hunting & bird watching resources, scavenger sheets and a tree swing. There is also a pond! Each session has a focused activity – which is linked to the seasons –it might involve a craft, or scavenging for woodland treasures for example. The children however, do not have to take part in this activity – they can go and play and follow their own interests. At the end of most sessions we gather around the fire for hot drinks and the children can toast a marshmallow.
  • Where do we go when we come to Wild Things?
    As Wild Things is based in a school ground and the main gates are locked during the school day, Emma will meet you at the main entrance. The address is: Nunthorpe Avenue York YO23 1WF There are 2 other entrances to the school so please make sure you use this one. It is worth putting the street name into sat nav as well as the school name. Once you arrive you can go straight over to the site, which is a short walk over a field and start playing. Emma waits at the gate for 15 minutes – if you arrive later than this please call Emma and either Emma or Michelle will come to the main gate to let you in.
  • Are there any refreshments?
    Children are offered a hot chocolate and there is teas & fresh coffee for adults. We ask parents to bring cups for the drinks. If your child has an allergy Emma will provide a hot chocolate suitable - please make sure you include info about any allergies or food preferences on the booking form. Emma also recommends you to bring a water bottle and snacks – playing outdoors can make children very hungry!
  • Are there any toilets?
    Yes! A very primitive camping loo in a shed! It also has a potty. We ask families to take home any dirty nappies. Baby changing is alfresco. We provide warm hand washing water. Please bring a small towel to dry your hands.
  • My child isn’t ready to sit and listen, is that ok?"
    Absolutely, the sessions are designed to be child-led so there are no expectations for them to sit and listen even if the majority of the children are. They will join in the group chats when they are ready. The only time we expect them to sit and listen is when the fire is lit and we need everyone to respect the fire rules so everyone is safe. But Emma will explain the fire rules during the sessions.
  • Where is Wild Things based?
    Wild Things is based in the grounds of Millthorpe School, York. This space is managed & developed by Wild Things. The address is: Nunthorpe Avenue York YO23 1WF There are 2 other entrances to the school so please make sure you use this one. It is worth putting the street name into sat nav as well as the school name.
  • Can I park at the school?
    During term time, unfortunately Wild Things can’t offer parking as it’s required by the teaching staff. However, there is a map on the Venues section of this website, with suggested parking places close by. Alternatively, there are bus routes close by and many families cycle. Bikes can be parked just near Wild Things’ site, inside the school.
  • What 3 words
    There is a great app called What3words and you can use it to navigate to precise locations. So if you use what3words here are a couple of key ones: School entrance (where Emma welcomes families): ///snows.cave.after Wild Things site (once inside the school grounds):///like.shiny.photos
  • What do we wear?
    It is important everyone wears clothes that you don’t mind getting muddy or covered in paint! The chances are you will all leave a little muddy. It’s also important to wear appropriate outdoor gear, especially during the wet and cold months. Children & babies defiantly benefit from water proof dungarees or all in one playsuits. And lots of layers. In winter keeping hands warm can be a challenge – after researching different gloves the best option does seem to be woollen gloves - and to have multiple pairs. When they get wet, take them off and replace with a dry pair. Buying some reusable hand warmers can also be helpful. The reusable ones are great as you simply boil them in water to reactivate them, so plastic waste is much reduced. We have also been using some handwarmers which can be charged via USB chargers. Search for Occopa handwarmers (these do get hot so check the temperature settings and try the lower ones first with the children). Babies will benefit from waterproof baby boots. When you book onto sessions there is advice on what to wear specific to the season. It is important adults think about their own warmth and comfort too. Waterproof trousers might not be very glamorous but very welcome on windy or wet days!
  • What happens when it rains? Or is cold? Or is Windy?
    There will be a shelter over the fire but we carry on and play! Make sure you all come in wet weather gear (rain coats, waterproof trousers and wellies). We encourage parents and carers to use positive language about the weather to give the children the message that it’s absolutely fine to play in the rain. If we say it’s wet and horrible – they will think that too! Point out what we can do in the rain – jump in puddles, catch rain drops on our tongue…even if inside you are wishing for it to stop! Being outside is all weathers helps to develop resilience in us all. And after all, we live in UK where it rains A LOT so if we can get our children use to the wet and cold we are less trapped indoors and it’s great for our mental health to get outside for fresh air & exercise. When it’s cold: Come in warm clothes – lots of layers. The session will also reflect the season – in winter we have less craft activities and more games and obstacle course building to keep our bodies moving and warm. We also really appreciate the hot drinks at the end of the session. When it’s windy: Wild Things runs in almost all weathers - rain, snow and sunshine. The only weather that stops outdoor sessions is gusty winds & storms as it's not safe for us to be under the trees in case branches get blown down. If the forecast is for gusty winds we are going to try something new, and book a room indoors at a community room close to Wild Things so we can still meet and have a session. The session will be a bit different but we will still have some of the elements - welcome song, nature craft, stories, hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows!). You will be informed of any changes via text so you know where the session will be and the timings as these might need to change slightly to fit around room bookings (so we will probably meet at 10am rather than 10.15am). If the session is cancelled due to heavy wind & a local room cannot be booked you will be offered a refund, or when It allows the session might be rolled over and added to the end of the term. Emma contacts all of the families via email & mobile if a session needs to be cancelled.
  • Do you run weekend activities?
    At the moment there are no regular weekend activities but keep an eye out for the one off events. But please sign up for the newsletter & follow us on social media to keep up to date with holiday events.
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