On our last day before Lucas started school, I wanted to do something nice with him to mark the occasion. When one of my friends suggested This Green Moon, the forest school, I was clueless as to what to expect but totally up for giving it a go!
Situated in Swillington Organic Farm, it encourages woodland adventures, imagination, outdoor experiences and much, much more. Paul, who owns This Green Moon, immediately impressed me with his way with the children, remembering their names and welcoming them warmly. The friends we went with had been before but it was the very first time for us and, because I didn’t know, I’d not told Lucas much about it.
We began with a venture into the woods where the children were encouraged to pick sticks – every woodland walk needs a stick right? Down a path, over a bridge to the tunnel where the troll lives. Since ‘Trolls” the movie, I think Lucas was looking for a pink haired little thing dancing around and singing.
“Can you see his eyes shining?” Paul whispered, capturing the children’s imagination.
On with our adventure, to find Piggie in the trees and the enchantment continued,
“If you catch a leaf as it falls from the tree, it will be magic.” Paul tells the wide eyed children.
We continue walking, we emerge in an opening with fire pits, hammocks, a bar (whoop!), role swings, teepees, fairy lights, ribbons…the list is endless and it’s beautiful. Paul gathers the children around a picnic bench and begins to help them cut up sticks which they paint and thread onto thinner sticks. “I’m going to use my super Gecko muscles” Lucas tells Paul. Given that most of Paul’s life seems to be spent in the outdoors, I can’t see him being clued up on PJ Masks. Ha ha!
The children are given time to play and explore whilst the adults can treat themselves to a hot or cold drink and a piece of cake from the bar area. Their attention is immediately grabbed as Paul lights a fire and they sit around it on logs, when someone brings a tray of marshmallows over. Marshmallows are one of Lucas’ favourite things in the entire world and he can’t wait to wield one around on the end of a stick in the fire.
“In the fire but not on the logs.” Paul tells them then, “Blow it ten times then gobble it up!“
Cue lots of sticky, but happy children. We explore further into the woods and there are little surprises hidden in the trees and bushes. A bell to ring and a periscope to look for miles then Paul shows them how to get a little stone from something (I wasn’t fully paying attention at this point) and they go to a tiny wishing well to make a wish with it. Miller, Lucas’ friend, wishes for a medal, Ted wishes for a football champion and Lucas wishes for “happiness like right now” – yes thats a quote from The Greatest Showman, his current obsession (See my Instagram stories for videos and pictures).
Our kids loved the hammocks and spent a lot of time playing in them. It was a totally new and novel experience for them and highly amusing when one of them toppled out of one – mean mummy! Ha ha!
I had no expectations about This Green Moon, given I had so little knowledge about it, and I’m definitely not an outdoorsy person but we really did have a lovely couple of hours there and, at £8 per child, it was a bargain! Old clothes, wellies and waterproofs are a must so that you can relax and let the children be children. If you have a baby like I do, I would recommend baby wearing as the paths are a little “off road” so it’s just easier to leave the buggy in the car. This Green Moon also do birthday parties, and adult parties – an outdoor cooking and dining experience! When I was looking at the website I also found that they do weddings too and it would be an AMAZING wedding venue! I heard Paul say that originally he wanted to include a tree house but it was super expensive, which would be a fab addition, so I’m writing this post because more people need to know about it, spend their money there and maybe one day, Paul will get his dream tree house 🙂
Have you visited This Green Moon or another forest school near you? What did you think of it? Comment below or find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Like, follow, comment and share – I do a little happy dance for each one 🙂