Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

– Benjamin Franklin –

What is Playgroup?

Playgroup is an outdoor playgroup for accompanied children, recommended age 2 – 5yrs. Our playgroups provide an unforgettable outdoor adventure for children and their families in a safe outdoor environment.

Playing outdoors is vital for helping children practise their physical abilities and develop resilience in a safe and risk assessed environment.

Running, jumping, skipping and playing strengthens little muscles, but can also help with gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall health and wellbeing.

Our practitioners

All practitioners have years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities.

Our staff is Forest School trained, DBS checked and hold a current first aid certificate to ensure quality and safety of all our programmes.

Our sessions are tailored to engage children in group activities, with their parents/carers and independently.

Our practitioners

All practitioners have years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities.

Our staff is Forest School trained, DBS checked and hold a current first aid certificate to ensure quality and safety of all our programmes.

Our sessions are tailored to engage children in group activities, with their parents/carers and independently.

What a typical sessions includes

We usually start our morning with tea/coffee, biscuits and cake, chatting about anything and everything. There are many projects we work on, i.e. carving stools, willow weaving, whittling, making bird feeders, planting or just going for a little walk.

Holton Lee has many facilities such as a pottery studio, a large veg and flower cutting garden as well as many nature trails that are easily accessible.

We usually cook a thing or two for lunch over the campfire. This depends on the season but we do love soups and stews! You can also bring a packed lunch.

If we don’t finish our project on the day, we just carry on next time – there is no pressure or obligation to finish at a set time. If you would like to join our lovely group, book a ticket or get in touch. We would love to meet you!

What about parents and carers?

As parents we try to juggle a million things with never-ending chores whilst trying to keep our children entertained and happy. At Dorset Forest School we understand how important it is to have a break from our busy schedules to make lasting memories together.

Our Playgroups are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn new skills with your child. We love parents to join in with our activities whilst enjoying a cuppa in a relaxed woodland environment. Tiny siblings are very welcome to experience Forest School with their big brothers or sisters or have a little snooze surrounded by beautiful trees and fresh air!

What about parents and carers?

As parents we try to juggle a million things with never-ending chores whilst trying to keep our children entertained and happy. At Dorset Forest School we understand how important it is to have a break from our busy schedules to make lasting memories together.

Our Playgroups are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn new skills with your child. We love parents to join in with our activities whilst enjoying a cuppa in a relaxed woodland environment. Tiny siblings are very welcome to experience Forest School with their big brothers or sisters or have a little snooze surrounded by beautiful trees and fresh air!

Our playgroups

Holton Lee playgroup

Come and join us for a morning in the beautiful woods of the Holton Lee Estate, near Upton Country Park. Our fully trained and DBS-checked Forest School Leaders offer a fun programme for all nature lovers.

Wild Arts and Crafts, Storytelling, Campfire cooking, Foraging and much more! Meet like-minded people and explore this beautiful estate in all it’s glory throughout the seasons.

Thorncombe Playgroup:

Come and join us for a morning in the beautiful woods of Thorncombe, near Hardy’s Birthplace. Our fully trained and DBS-checked Forest School Leaders offer a fun programme for all nature lovers. Wild Arts and Crafts, Storytelling, Campfire cooking, Foraging and much more!

Meet like-minded people and explore this ancient woodland in all it’s glory throughout the seasons.

– Thorncombe carpark charges apply for non National Trust members

Frequently asked questions

What shall I bring?

Please wear appropriate outdoor clothing – season and weather depending.

It might be a good idea to bring a packed lunch or some snacks and a bottle of water.

What’s the age range?

The Playgroups are aimed at children aged 2-5 years old.

However, if you have an inquisitive toddler, a baby or an older child that would like to come, please feel free to join us – everyone is welcome!

What to expect?

Our fully trained Forest School Leaders are experts in outdoor sessions for any age and ability. Most of us have additional skills and training, i.e. practising artists, SEN training, bushcraft etc. and we love to share our knowledge with our groups.

If you have any skills or passion you would like to share with us, please get in touch!

Do you cancel Forest School when it rains?

No. We are here whatever the weather! The exception would be wind over 25mph or a thunderstorm, please follow us on facebook so we can update you regularly.

Get in touch:

Our key aim here at Dorset Forest School is for all children in Dorset to access Forest School, which is why we are passionate about training others. There are a number of options for how we can take you through training, some of which are subsidised.

You first need to decide which training is most appropriate for you: Please contact Maddy using the link below or complete our contact form to explore your options.