After School and Weekend Nature and Art Club

Who: Saturday Sessions for ages up to 11
Sunday Sessions for families
Half-term and Holiday Sessions for ages up to 11
After School Club from 5 upwards

Location: Childwall Woods, Crosby and Sefton Coast

Cost: Saturday Club: £6 / £7
After School Club: £10

Since our successful pilot project, which ran throughout Summer 2018, we have decided to provide an After School Club and Week-end Nature/Art sessions. These sessions are intended to meet the needs of local children and community and families.

Our aim is to provide a life enriching, fun programme which will develop a sense of responsibility, stewardship and respect for the nature within our participants.

The sessions offer a wide range of adventurous, creative and environmental activities directed at different age groups. We have in place an agreement with City Council to afford our organisation the use of a very special woodland reserve for non invasive outdoor children’s activities. We want to enable youngsters to enjoy the ecology of the woods whilst learning about its biodiversity and relevance in our lives. At the same time we set out to enhance this biodiversity by planting trees and flowers in certain areas.

It has been proven that being in the natural environment enhances children’s health, mood and fitness. By offering our children the opportunity to be creative whilst enjoying nature outdoors, we give them the chance to learn new skills and improve their sense of well being in the green environment away from their  phones, computer screens, traffic and congested roads. The whole experience is fun and productive.

They are designed to offer members the chance to experience nature first hand, try new and exciting challenges, learn new ‘outdoor’ skills and realise that learning and interacting with their local environment is very important but also really good fun.

Here are some of the things we get up to, but there are many more:

  • Life in deadwood and leaf litter there’s so much going on under your feet.
  • Tracks, trails and camouflage,are you prepared to get dirty?
  • Winter bird food,it’s messy but so important.
  • Woodland adventure,getting to know your woodland.
  • Nature detectives and woodland Olympics
  • Bird boxes or insect homes,take them home and watch our flying friends hopefully raise a brood.
  • Insect homes, take them home and help our bees and beetles.
  • Ecology based Learning about the natural world from caterpillars to bats.
  • Art and craft using natural materials and other materials, felt, eco paints.
  • Tree planting and wildflower planting to help the nature reserve.
  • Wildlife at dusk. Bats and moths.
    Life on the beach, marine biology and art sessions ( Crosby after school club, and weekends)

Our programme benefits children on multiple levels:

It is proven time spent outdoors improves: mental cognition, mood, health, immune function.

Our sessions involve team work, creativity, nature learning, physical activities, and games. Mindfulness will be integrated into some sessions by one of our lovely trained team.

For local schools in Childwall, eg Childwall Church of England, we pick up at 3.30pm. Places limited to 10. Alternatively you can drop off your children from 3.30pm at All Saints Hall, Childwall Abbey Road.

Fruit and healthy snack provided.

Why go outside?

Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. While it’s unclear how exactly the cognitive functioning and mood improvements occur, there are a few things we do know about why nature is good for kids’ minds.

Richard Louv, author of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder states:

  • It builds confidence. The way that kids play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor.
  • It promotes creativity and imagination. This unstructured style of play also allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings..
  • It teaches responsibility. Living things die if mistreated or not taken care of properly, and entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment means they’ll learn what happens when they forget to water a plant, or pull a flower out by its roots.
  • It provides different stimulation. Nature may seem less stimulating than your son’s violent video game, but in reality, it activates more senses—you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments. “As the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow,” Louv warns, “and this reduces the richness of human experience.”
  • It gets kids moving. Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Your kid doesn’t have to be joining the local soccer team or riding a bike through the park—even a walk will get her blood pumping. Not only is exercise good for kids’ bodies, but it seems to make them more focused, which is especially beneficial for kids with ADHD.
  • It makes them think. Louv says that nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. The phenomena that occur naturally in backyards and parks everyday make kids ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.
  • It reduces stress and fatigue. According to the Attention Restoration Theory, urban environments require what’s called directed attention, which forces us to ignore distractions and exhausts our brains. In natural environments, we practice an effortless type of attention known as soft fascination that creates feelings of pleasure, not fatigue.

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