Clued In With Kids Review – Forest Explorers, Delamere
Delamere Forest, CW8 2JD Northwich
Every time we ask our toddler what she would like to do she replies with one very clear word ‘Outside’. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that we kick start the Summer holidays spending some quality time together in the great outdoors thanks to Forest Explorers Delamere.
Forest Explorers Delamere provide families with a range of fun, interactive and educational sessions, all of which encourage the children to safely explore and learn about woodland habitats. A number of sessions are available to suit the children’s different age ranges from 18 months old up to approximately 14 years. Sessions are affordable, with some as little £3.20 and run both within term time but also during school holidays, making a session with Forest Explorers Delamere a fantastic option when looking for things to do with kids in Cheshire over the Summer holidays. We attended Forest Explorers family special event titled ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’. Other sessions include forest arts and crafts, mini beasts, summer holiday clubs and more. Although each sessions activities will vary depending on the session you book onto, our review will give you a general feel about how the family friendly events are run.
Forest Explorers Delamere is located just a stones throw away from the main visitors centre in Delamere Forest. When we arrived we were kindly greeted by Vikki who welcomed all of the explorers to the private forest school area so they could run around to their hearts content waiting for their ‘friends’ in a large open space. Numbers were limited to approximately 20 places so that families can get the most out of their experience. We were given a quick safety talk about how to stay safe in a natural woodland environment and were then escorted to the main camp where we gathered around on wooden logs for our first activity.
Vikki introduced our story ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ which was read very enthusiastically, complete with a multitude of sound effects. Many children gathered around Vikki’s feet and she had the children’s full attention for the duration of the story, with the toddlers displaying high levels of engagement. Despite us sitting immediately adjacent to Vikki in the circle, she still made a point of moving the book so that we could be involved. Our toddler was very shy and unsure to begin with (she doesn’t cope well initially with more than two to three children at a time) but she loosened up and got involved within a few minutes of the story starting, smiling and laughing throughout thanks to the way Vikki interacted with her. Children were encouraged to sing, shout and make the actions.
The activities that followed all related to the books theme. The toddlers loved working together as a team to make a ‘cave’ for the ‘bear’. Our toddler loved trying to pick up the biggest sticks that she could find to make the shelter and really got herself involved. We then headed back to basecamp to make a shaker out of sticks, before going on a bear hunt and exploring the forest. The children were encouraged to get involved throughout the hunt by singing, shaking the shakers, clapping and more. And who would believe it but at the end of the bear hunt we found an actual ‘bear’ asleep in our ‘cave’. As a result the children were praised for their efforts and seemed to be really pleased of themselves for making bear such a fantastic home.
We then moved on to our little girls favourite part of the session….. free play! Vikki had secured hammocks, a swing and created a fantastic mud kitchen which of course our toddler just would not leave. She used her imagination to make a ‘beef curry with rice’, (an odd choice given she hates curry) and other children were making Spaghetti Bolognese and beans on toast! The ideas behind the mud kitchen were simple but effective. The children used all upcycled materials including pans, paint brushes, muffin cases, water and of course lots and lots of mud and ferns. The centre knew that this would be a favourite with our messy little monsters and so made sure that there were several different stations to avoid the kids crowding around. Children were also welcome to explore the woodland area or have fun on the obstacle course.
Sessions encourage social skills and problem solving as a team, as well as encouraging children to use their imaginations and develop their creative sides with the free play set up. Some of the activities are also designed to help support and develop fine motor skills. Sessions offer a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained, especially over the holidays when many preschool groups cease to run.
The whole area was well spaced, well laid out, and paths down to the base camp are all suitable for pram and wheelchair users. Forest Explorers Delamere are also very careful regarding the use of photography and handled requests to not be photographed by the centre or other parents/carers very delicately. All events must be booked on in advance but this is done simply at the click of a button online via their website. Parties, holiday clubs and home education sessions can also be booked online.
Thank you Forest Explorers Delamere for welcoming us to your family event. We were particularly impressed with the passion and infectious enthusiasm of your staff who deliver these sessions. Vikki built positive relationships with the children and their parents, and as a result, the children engaged with the session and got involved. We also are very grateful that your sheltered area meant that for the first time in weeks we have actually had a respite from the heat! Our little girl was so upset that she had to leave to go and get her lunch. She had an amazing time and kept trying to run back to camp. As a result, we have already booked on to your upcoming session ‘mini beasts’. Thank you for facilitating in the creation of some wonderful memories. We will see you VERY soon. #
‘Uh oh mud. We cant’t go over it, we can’t go under it, Oh no! We’ll have to go through it’.
Hints and tips:
* As advised, make sure that you do cover up. There are lots of critters in a woodland that think we are incredibly tasty!
*You don’t need to worry about cash for the car park as cards are accepted. At the time of our review, £4 gave us four hours.
*Take a picnic. That way you can combine your Forest Explorers session with a morning or afternoon exploring Delamere Forest itself. The café also serves a selection of hot and cold snacks plus drinks and picnic benches are provided at various points within the forest.
*If interested in a session book quickly, events are rapidly selling out. Please follow this link to see which tickets are available. https://www.forest-explorers.co.uk/events/category/family-events/
*Please remember that activities will differ depending on the session you book onto. You are likely to have a different experience to that of CIWK but this review, as mentioned, gives you a feel for how sessions are run in general.
Additional terms and conditions:
*This review is based on our own personal family experiences and our own opinions.
*We therefore can not guarantee that your experience will be the same as ours and this article should be treated as a review and not a recommendation.
*All information is correct to the best of our knowledge. If there are any inaccuracies, please contact email@example.com so that this can be amended.
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