**Update** We changed the "Woodland Wednesdays" to a Thursday due to demand!
We live in the most beautiful town, surrounded by the most beautiful countryside, hills and woods. All the evidence points towards outdoor education improving health and well-being, physical fitness, with children being successful learners and responsible citizens.
We believe that children learn best when immersed in nature. Whilst technology definitely has its benefits, most parents would agree that there is a mismatch between the time our children spend outdoors compared with the time we spent outdoors as kids ourselves.
Children at Wise Owls Nursery Moffat can expect to spend much of their day in the outdoors - we have a fantastic garden with opportunities to climb, grow, feel the grass between our toes and play in mud. Our Owlets and Branchlet (babies and toddlers) will gain most of their outdoor experience from being in our fabulous garden. But our Fledglings and Wise Owls (pre-schoolers) will have extra opportunities to explore the forest and woodland area around us.
We are based a 15 minute walk from our very own designated private woodland area and we will be offering sessions that will be largely based outdoors (no matter what the weather.)
Please ensure that your child comes dressed appropriately for the day!
-Wellies / sturdy trainers
-Warm jumper / hat / gloves if necessary
-Spare clothes to change into when we get back.
Dates have now been confirmed and will be run in conjuction with Will Austin of Kayantics here in Moffat. If your child already attends our nursery on a Thursday afternoon, they will automatically be signed up for the sessions. However, if you would like your children to join us specifically for the "Exploring the Outdoors" sessions, then they can meet us at Kayantics (at the entrance to the Caravan Park) for their sessions as follows:
Date: 15th, 22nd, 29th November, 6th, 13th and 20th December 2018
Time: 1.30-3.30pm (with pick up from Moffat Academy Nursery at 11.55am available for an extra £5 per session.)
Cost: £7 per session or £35 for a block of 6 sessions, payable in advance.
(Discounts available for siblings)
My child attends Moffat Academy Nursery in the morning - can you pick her up from there?
Yes! We will pcik children up at 11.55am from the Moffat Academy nursery (sorry not Beattock just yet) take them somewhere cosy for their lunch and then take them to the session for a 1.30pm start.
My child turns 3 halfway through the block - can he come to all the sessions?
Sorry, no! Our "Exploring the Outdoors" sessions are for 3-5 year olds only. Although you could book him in for a couple of ad hoc sessions once he is 3, you might be better holding off until the next block.
What if they need the loo?!
We would ask you to encourage your children to go to the loo before they attend the sessions, however we understand that they may be caught short whilst there. We'll have a designated "pee tree" which will be discreet or for 'more urgent matters' we'll have a spade for digging a hole! We will also have access to running water for washing hands.
Won't they become ill?
Actually, a study done in Sweden over a 13 month period showed that children accessing outdoor sessions had 25% fewer sick days than those who didn't. Outside air is almost always better than indoors, therefore a child is less likely to be exposed to a virus and bacteria and not as likely to be infected by other children. It has been shown that stress has a negative effect on the immune system, high levels of stress may impact children's ability to resist infection and being outside reduces stress and improves mental health.
What about if it is raining or snowing?
We do have a shelter where cold children can warm up and we usually have a fire on the go. We will only cancel sessions in extreme weather conditions, as advised by Dumfries and Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team who advise during these circumstances. When this occurs, parents will be informed on the morning of the session (or the evening before if we know) and children will meet at Wise Owls Nursery or Kayantics instead for a woodland themed experience. All our staff live locally so we will be there whatever the weather! It's really important to dress your children appropriately.
Aren't fires dangerous?
For our 3-5 sessions, we have a strict policy that only adults will light/maintain the fires. We make the rules very clear about fire safety and have completed a risk assessment/benefits form for all our activities.
What if there's an accident?
Again, we have very strict policies and procedures for our "Exploring the Outdoors" sessions. There are at least 4 members of staff who have paediatric and/or outdoor first aid. We also have insurance.
What is the sibling discount?
If both children attend all 6 sessions, there is a 10% discount for the second child and a 20% discount for the 3rd child. So, for one child 6 sessions are £35, two children would be £66.50 and 3 children would be £94.50 - bargain!!
“Let Nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth