A rich and abundant treasury in celebration of the outdoors, The Children's Forest encourages children’s natural fascination with the forest and its inhabitants. The authors have produced an enchanting book in which imagination, story, and play bring the world of the forest to vibrant life. Filled with games, facts, celebrations, craft activities, recipes, foraging, stories, and Forest School skills, this book is much more than a manual: it is an invitation.
The book is organized into the eight Celtic seasons of Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Summer, Lughnasa, Autumn, Samhain, and Winter. Within each chapter are the following sections: The Life of the Forest; Plant Lore; Imaginary Journey; Tree Lore; Activities, crafts and games; Animals; Celebration. The appendices cover woodland skills, safety, the Ogham alphabet, story sources, and more resources.
Ideal for ages 5 to 12, The Children's Forest will also be enjoyed by adults, families, and younger children.
C O N T E N T S:
How to Use this Book
The Central Fire
Forest School Good Practice
The Ogham and the Oghma
“With this beautiful book—co-authored by Dawn Casey, Anna Richardson and Helen Ascoli— Hawthorn Press have scaled fresh heights in its vocation to put inspiring storytelling resources into our hands. There is naturally a practical aim at work in providing ‘stories and songs, wild food, crafts, and celebrations all year round.’ But this is achieved with visual and verbal excellence.”—Donald Smith, Scottish International Storytelling Festival
“This gorgeous book is a celebration of nature. Its aim is to “foster deep, meaningful, enriching and lasting relationships with the natural world. It does this through providing songs, poems, craft ideas, plant lore, games, stories and recipes, set out in the seasonal wheel of the year with sections for the traditional ancient celebrations of lmbolc, Beltane, Lughnasa and Samhain. There are lots and lots of beautiful illustrations from Allmut ffrench bringing the ideas to life. I am looking forward to making walnut candles this winter, combining the bounty of nature with candlelight to brighten the dark evenings. Wonderful nature inspiration for us all.”—Juno Magazine (Dec. 11, 2019)
“The Children’s Forest is a marvelous collection of practices and activities that will surely connect people their places, wild neighbors, friends and families. The elements of this book are woven to produce a tapestry of belonging—any one of these threads can produce amazing results, together something magical emerges.”—Jon Young, author ofCoyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature
Dawn Casey is an author, mother and story lover. She is inspired by the power and magic of tales of old and the wonder of the natural world. Her collection of stories and activities, The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales, won the Gold Award from Nautilus for "books of exceptional merit that promote spiritual growth, conscious living and positive social change."
Anna Richardson lives and works in East Sussex. She is a mother and a forest school facilitator and trainer who works with young people of all ages. She is enthusiastic about rediscovering the uses of wild plants and the indigenous approaches to sustainable harvesting for food, medicine, and other practical crafts and teaches foraging workshops. Over the last 20 years, her interest in plants and traditional skills has developed through training, teaching, and practicing Bush Craft, Plant Spirit Medicine, and invaluable time spent in the field with Gordon Hillman, Professor of Archeobotany. Anna has taught at Sussex University CCE in Wild Plants and their Ancient Uses (in connection with the Archeology department) and continues to develop her own knowledge and inspiring ways to teach plant lore, alongside a deep love for the natural world. Anna is passionate about new and indigenous ways to educate and co-creates local community projects which enable people to share and learn together to reconnect to nature. She also enjoys the creative arts, plays fiddle, and is actively involved in leading folk-music sessions in the local area.
Helen d’Ascoli is a founder of Talking Trees, a company dedicated to connecting people to nature. She has been practising Forest School education with children, community groups and schools for over ten years. Her mission is to create the next generation of conservationists. She works as a Forest School teacher, tutor and mentor.
Jon Cree is an ecologist and environmental educator and chairs the Forest Schools National Network