Wild Tots

All About Our Wild Tots Groups

All of our Wild Tots groups are aimed at children between around 16-18m and 5yrs, accompanied by their grown ups. We are currently running two regular groups for this age group, in different areas of Middleton Woods in Ilkley. 

Wild Tots 'Forest School' is our regular forest school group, currently taking place each Friday morning, in term time. These sessions meet the 6 principles of Forest School, and are designed to be a long-term programme of skills progression, nature connection and community building. Booking for these sessions will be done by term, or half term, to ensure a consistent group of children and adults each week. Each Forest School session will be led by myself, Tammy Tawny Owl (L3 Forest School Leader and founder of The Log Circle) and at least one (usually two) of our lovely Log Circle assistants and volunteers. 

More information about what to expect at a typical Wild Tots 'Forest School' session can be found here.

By contrast, Wild Tots 'Forest Play' is a slightly shorter, weekly stay and play session, bookable on a more adhoc basis, although discounts are available for block bookings. These sessions are currently taking place on Monday mornings, and are led by Jess Juniper (our Forest Play Leader) and at least one of our lovely Log Circle assistants and volunteers. will incorporate many of the same features as our Forest School sessions, but will not include any fires, ropes and tool work. Due to our flexible booking system this group will have different children each week, but will always be lots of fun! These sessions are perfect for those unable to commit to our long term group, whether due to time or financial constraints, or simply because it's not for you! We hope that these sessions will also work well for those wishing to get a feel for a nature play group, before progressing into our Forest School group. For more information about your role at a Wild Tots session, look here.

What to Expect From a Wild Tots Session

A range of activities will be provided for children to get involved with if they want to, although our sessions are all child-led and we encourage our Wild Tots to make their own adventures! We have a maximum of 16 children in each group to keep everyone safe, and to make sure that we can give all your little ones lots of attention!

Each session will incorporate a full range experiences at every session, including our popular mud kitchen, natural crafts, songs, stories, games and child-led nature play! Children are invited to start and end the session together in the log circle, where we will also come together to share a drink and a snack. 

in addition, our 'Forest School' sessions will also include various swings & ropes to play and balance on, carefully planned activities aimed at developing tool skills, and opportunities to observe and explore the seasonal changes taking place in our site, week by week. We will safely have a campfire at most Forest School sessions (especially in the winter) and children will get opportunities to prepare and cook their snacks. Each session will be carefully planned to progressively develop new skills, introduce new experiences and to support the needs and individual interests of the children in the group. Due to the long term nature of this group, both children and accompanying adults will have the opportunity to build strong connections with each other, and with the environment around them. 

Being a Wild Tot 'Grown Up'

These groups are for you too! Although we always ask an adult to stay on site during all our Wild Tots sessions, we do encourage you to relax and let your children go off and play with their new friends as soon as they feel ready, or to come and play with us! We will provide an area for parents to sit together, so that you can chat and make your own new friends, or you can choose to just enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the woods while your children explore and play. Be reassured that we (and all the other parents) will watch your little Wild Tots carefully so you do not need to worry about taking your eyes off them. Of course, if your child is very young, or needs their grown up to stay near them for a time that’s absolutely fine, we just ask you to be sensitive to other children who might be still developing their own confidence around unfamiliar adults :)

We strongly recommend all our grown-ups bring a chair or a picnic blanket on which to base yourself. As well as giving you a place to sit, this also ensures that the play space is kept clear of bags and coats etc. It also, more importantly, provides your child with a 'safe space' to return to for rest, snacks or cuddles, whenever they need to.

See our booking link for up to date information on dates, times and venues for all our Wild Tots sessions.