Now lets consider the benefits of walking on muddy ground; environmental awareness and the consequences of the weather and potentially seasons on the earth and the woodland that we find ourselves. We discover that our boots slide about, and if its really deep, we can make funny noises, we can dance and it can gloop. If its gloops too much, we take some of the mud with us on our boots and it erodes that particular area of woodland potentially exposing tree roots. Now tree roots can then cause a trip hazard.
But by each child becoming mindful of the ground and change that happens, then it can increase communication and language, it can develop empathy and social skills, self awareness and regulation. As a result of regulation it can allow us to problem solve and make decisions, How do I need to alter or change my initial plans?, Do I need to tell someone?, Do I need to walk around a different way?, How strong am I? Can I balance on here?, What are the other children doing?, Can I help them, support them and tell them of the dangers that are here?.
I can tell the practitioner and as such I can develop my relationship with adults as information sharers and people who value me as a person. They can give me instructions and I can then understand those, or ask more questions.
So the presence of the risk, even though creating a high likelihood of incident, or accident, also has surrounding it many benefits and positive outcomes. Emotions that are created in challenging situations produce neural connections and as such these help to store the memory in the hippocampus. If its there in my historical timeline of experiences then I can use that information in the future to make judgements and conclusions about new experiences, when I need to decide if I can achieve something, if its worth the effort, or if the outcome of the past experience was negative, as to whether to avoid that situation again in the future.
Perspective is everything
Forest Schools Kindergarten