While there are many excursions that our preschoolers in Serangoon will experience during the year, a trek into a natural forest would probably be the first for many of them. This is not surprising considering the unpredictable weather – and how venturing into the forest might be intimidating for some.
Our childcare in Serangoon was lucky to engage the team from Forest School Singapore for a recent excursion, who brought the children and teachers into the forest at Bukit Timah reserve. Forest School Singapore runs regular programmes for children where they are taken into the forest within the safe boundaries and under the watchful eyes of the coaches.
Our preschoolers were more than enthusiastic for this excursion as it allowed them to enjoy the fauna and flora of a natural forest, plus they were in for surprise when they discovered a freshwater stream during their trek.
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Introducing the forest to children might not be easy, as the ruggedness and unfamiliar sights and sounds might be intimidating for children who are familiar with the built-up, urbanised surroundings of Singapore.
With the right guidance and proper education, gradual trips to the forest encourage children to appreciate the wonders and calmness of the forest.
These walks might turn into a lifelong love affair with the forest which they will come to appreciate in time to come.
Coaches at the Forest School allowed the children to explore and encouraged them to think of solutions during the excursion. For example, when they came across a stream, they had to decide if it was a better idea to cross the stream or to climb a ridge to get to the other side.
Throughout the trip, the preschool teachers from our childcare in Serangoon played the role of observers and allowed the children to make their own decisions and help their friends along the way. Some of them were unsure about stepping into the stream but the braver ones encouraged their peers and gave them the confidence to brace their fears.
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Leaning about Biodiversity
Venturing into the forest gives the children the opportunity to come up close to the native wildlife that thrives in the forest and streams.
During the trip, they saw small fishes, spider, frogs and aquatic insects waddling in the natural freshwater steam that runs quietly through the forested area. Native creatures thrive in such surroundings due to the cool environment, thanks to the forest canopy and plants growing along the stream banks.
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Indeed, an excursion as enriching as this trek into the forest should be a part of every child’s learning journey, for it gives them the chance to explore and learn more about the natural world and their environment.
Along the way, our champs from childcare in Serangoon also gained confidence and learnt about the importance of being helpful to others.