Jan White Natural Play

Natural Play, Natural Growth, in the Early Years

Mudlark Finds *2: Forest Childcare Association


Mudlarking is the ancient practice of digging in the mud of the Thames to find treasures.  It still goes on today, uncovering and recovering some amazing artefacts from the life of London city through the centuries.  Click on this link for more information about mudlarking.

Futurelab – Projects Archive – Mudlarking in Deptford

With this section of my website, I want to share some of the many wonderful treasures I dig up while researching and supporting outdoor play for children from birth to seven. I hope they inspire you too, and help you to create motivational, meaningful and satisfying outdoor play experiences for all the children you work with.  Mudlark posts will be brief and to the point.

Mudlark Find Number 2 is a great new initiative and resource, The Forest Childcare Association created by Kay Woods of Kids To Go, that is designed to encourage and support home-based childcare practitioners and settings to get out and make the most of their local environment, especially the more nature-filled locations.  This is such a good idea!  Kay has provided a really thoughtful, well-researched and comprehensive membership pack, consisting of an introductory booklet, business tools, self certification and a booklet of 50 crafts and activities for forest childcare – all written in a down-to-earth style that is very accessible.  Membership is a realistic £15 and all transactions are done simply online.

Forest Childcafre Association screen shot

Kay makes the case that embedding this as a core part of your provision is a sound business enhancement that parents will choose for their children.  She is a passionate advocate for connecting young children with the nature in their locality and using this as the great learning resource that it is, and clearly has lots of personal experience and expertise in this area.  In the forthcoming second edition of my book, Playing and Learning Outdoors (due out in Nov 2013), I have added a seventh ingredient for high quality outdoor provision – that of harnessing the locality and community immediately around your setting.  So this resource resonates strongly with my new campaign to reclaim the streets for young children and harness this as a super-rich additional layer of everyday outdoor provision!


2 thoughts on “Mudlark Finds *2: Forest Childcare Association

  1. In my new venture Natural Explorers (naturalexplorers.co.uk), I am already looking into ways to harness the locality and community… it feels great to be in tune with your ideas.

    • Hi Alexandra – your new venture looks great and I’ve signed up to follow your blog too. With your combination of Early Years Education and Landscape, I wondered if you’d be interested in our ‘Landscapes for Early Childhood’ network, which next meets in Oxford on 8th October. See the page on my website for general information and let me know (email janwhite56@hotmail.co.uk) if you’d like to go onto the mailing list. The theme for the October meeting is using plants in making the play environment and growing – which I think could be up your street…

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