Celebrating Samhain with The Children’s Forest

As the season’s turn and the clocks fall back we have witnessed more people gaining inspiration from The Children’s Forest. The charming stories and activities for the outdoors are divided into eight spells of the calendar Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Summer, Lughnasa, Autumn, Samhain, Winter.

The book inspires a sense of awe and a deepening fascination with all things natural , a great antidote to an indoor life, and just what may be needed to encourage children out into the wilds as the weather becomes cooler.

We’re now entering Samhain (pronounced SOW-in or SAH-win), half way between the Autumn and Winter Equinox and considered the Celtic New Year, or what we now call Halloween or 31st October.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is a Carnegie medal-winning writer, winner of The Mal Peet Children’s Award at the East Anglian Book Awards, 2019, is a seasoned specialist in retelling folktales, British folklore and poet. Crossley-Holland, best known for the Arthur Trilogy, a fresh look at the legend of the round table, and is a fan of The Children’s Forest;

“The Children’s Forest may be the most joyful book I’ve ever come across. The fruit of many seasons of quiet research, writing, illustrating and assembling, this cornucopia of stories and songs, activities and fascinating information is as timely as it is beautifully produced, and from the moment you engage with it, you’ll be aware of its vision, its wisdom, and the crucial lifelines that connect us to the natural world.” Kevin Crossley-Holland

Glennie Kindred, author of Walking with Trees and other books on Earth wisdom and natural lore is also a fan of The Children’s Forest;

“This delightful and deeply connecting book is an inspiration and call to all, to immerse ourselves in the forest, amongst the trees and the plants that have so many gifts to share with us. It speaks from the intelligence of Nature, which makes this important landmark book a profound breath of fresh forest air. Herein lies a rich treasure of beauty, creativity, and understanding that encourages true deep connection with the natural world of the forest. At this time when so many are hearing the call to return to a deeper relationship with Nature, this book has something for us all, children and adults alike. I highly recommend it.“

Forest School teachers and Nature Connections have found this book an invaluable resource for keeping their sessions enervating. Jon Cree, Forest School Association  Director and ecological educator wrote of The Children’s Forest;

 “This book is full of seasonal nature-connecting activity that will help children rediscover our Celtic connections to the land in contemporary times. It will help create a sense our ‘place in space and time’, seasonally and in the ‘forest’ community, a pressing need in our changing times.”

Badger Forest School in Bristol made leaf cones this autumn, inspired by
The Children’s Forest

The parenting challenge

Parenting can be a challenge at the best of times, so throw a pandemic into the mix and you may be forgiven for losing the plot. In the nick of time, The Parenting Toolkit author and experienced family therapist Caroline Penney is offering an online course for parents with children aged 0-19 years dealing with everything from tantrums to teenage angst.

Starting on 15 October, this 9 week online, interactive course supports parents to help children thrive and transform family patterns.  It is based on The Parenting Toolkit book by Caroline Penney.
Key topics covered: Building confidence, feelings, play, listening skills and communication, setting limits, understanding behaviour, developmental stages.

This is a great opportunity to meet other parents and share ideas whilst following a structured course format, covering a whole range of skills (The Parenting Toolkit) to raise happy and confident children.
Caroline Penney, author and systemic family therapist will be delivering this course alongside Catherine Kearney, parenting and community development specialist. Caroline and Cathy have many years experience working with parents and families as well as running courses for parents.

Find out more about the course and book here

Buy the book here 

Illustrations here and in the book by Kate Hajducka


Baking Bread with Children

Baking bread with children can be a wonderful at-home learning experience. As we all come to the end of our first week at home, we are sharing a simple bread baking recipe from Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen, for you to print out and enjoy together.

This recipe is taken from Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen