Posted on Leave a comment

Storytelling courses – for outdoor learning

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Become a great outdoor children’s storyteller – We’d like to present you with a course that will greatly benefit your career!

There is almost no better place to do storytelling than out in nature.

Do you want to become a storyteller? These storytelling courses are for everyone…

  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!
  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides

Don’t worry if you do not have storytelling experience – it can be learned as long as you are willing go through the learning material and put it into enjoyable practice.

Being an outdoor storyteller has many benefits. Work when you want, and where you want.

Of course you may be naturally nervous when you first step out in front of your new audience. But practice will make you the master of this art of outdoor storytelling. You will be out in nature and feel more and more free and energised each time. Your students will have an unforgettable experience courtesy of you. Experience their faces light up as they listen to your every word, follow your every gesture and facial expression. You’ll grow in confidence. Get creative and expressive. You will be giving others joy and making wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. No matter where you are located, it’s time that you stepped through the door that leads to the magical kingdom of enchanting storytelling.

Magical fairytale Doorway

Chris Holland will be your teacher.

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Chris Holland is a professional outdoor educator who specialises in storytelling. Chris has an environmental science and forestry school educational background.

Now Chris Holland has put together a series of outdoor storytelling courses.

Each course is aimed at providing playful outdoor learning.

There are storyboards all prepared for you to use. Mid-term plans for teachers. Tip and tricks. Learning activities and games for all ages. All the learning material that you need is provided – Chris Holland has done all the thinking for you!

You just need to be enthusiastic and ready to get down to a bit of fun learning. All courses can be learned from the comfort of your own home.

The storytelling course consists of 12 beautiful folklore tales. They can be purchased separately or all together as a bundle. There are also other separate courses such as ‘The Storyteller’s Playbook’ and nature-led stories for families.

The storytelling course choice is yours!

Make a rewarding career move and become a storyteller out in nature!

Once you have quickly gained confidence through the experience of having told the stories several times, you will be fully in control of a very rewarding job out in the fresh air.

Where can you find work as an outdoor storyteller?

If you are not yet working in a teaching environment, then consider going freelance. Become a self-employed storyteller. Advertise your outdoor storytelling services to schools and centres.

Outdoor storytelling is a part of forest school education

It’s wonderful to see that forestry schools are becoming extremely popular. These forestry schools will be needing the appropriate storytellers – you can be that person! Your audience is waiting for you. Tell all the forestry schools what you have to offer them. Let them know that you have learned from Chris Holland’s courses, a highly experienced outdoor educator and storyteller with an accomplished reputation. This beautiful form of storytelling is a much appreciated part of forest school education.

Choose a nice location along with the necessary permission to use it – the forest/woods. A leafy park. A beautiful field. Hire a rustic wooden cabin/hut. If you are already a school teacher, you could create your own enchanted space on school premises.

Connect with nature. Your audience awaits you.

By Robert Jakes – sculptor www.robertjakes.co.uk

Go straight to the official storytelling courses on Chris Holland’s official website, or you can find out more in our Blog Post using the appropriate links below…

Chris Holland’s Storefront

Courses…

Courses for outdoor storytelling

If you would like to read more about the courses, and enquire about prices, please go to our Blog post that is about Chris Holland and the courses. We have outlined each course that he has to offer you on your way too becoming a terrific outdoor storyteller.

What Children Really Want


This ‘Storytelling courses – for outdoor learning’ Blog Post is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

Posted on Leave a comment

Connecting with nature through storytelling

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Meet Chris Holland – Nature’s Storyteller

Chris Holland outdoor storyteller

Chris Holland is an outdoor storyteller and educator.

Chris has preformed as a outdoor storyteller at festivals and in many schools throughout the United Kingdom.

He is an internationally known storyteller, author and educator. Chris certainly knows his stuff – In 1993 he gained a degree in Environmental Science, and also became a forestry school leader.

His storytelling subjects are around tales and fables that promote sustainability and speak of creation myths and tales of wonder. Earthly music enhances each story, aimed at connecting the listener with nature.

If you are interested in becoming an experienced outdoor storyteller, Chris has spent many years forming the necessary resources for you!

Outdoor storytelling in nature
Outdoor storytelling

His material allows you to pass on holistic stories through play and observation. There are musical stories and many games that will connect all the listeners. Chris shares with you all that he has learnt. This first self-published book came out in 2009. It was called ‘I Love my World’. A fun, imaginative, hands-on guide to connecting with nature and full of practical ideas. This guide was used by both educators and parents in many countries.

Chris works on stories that allow the listeners to grow in courage, and form a deep connection with themselves and others. Many tales from around the world are told – Myths & fables from Europe, Africa, Australia. And from Native American history.

If you are an educator, or a parent wishing to dive into natural, outdoor storytelling, then these beautiful, one of a kind resources, kindly developed by Chris Holland are for you!

What some of the courses contain:

  • Storyboards.
  • Activities.
  • Mid-term plans.
  • Skill development
  • Tips’ n ticks’

Who are these outdoor storytelling courses directed at:

  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!
  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides

A great investment that can bring about a permanent change how every child views and treats the planet.

Courses start at as little as £10, but most courses are £30 – £40. And a special offer of £123 if you buy the lessons in a pack of 12. Some larger packs are £300. You get a savings discount on large packs (prices are in sterling)

Courses for outdoor storytelling

The Storyteller’s Playbook – for teachers and educators

“This course is inspirational” A video based, storytelling short course with lots of outdoor learning ideas.

This is what you get:

  • 10 minute story video of Chris telling an ancient Chinese fable
  • a hand drawn storyboard to help you remember the story at a glance
  • 30+ fun filled activities for learning, linked to the story in the video
  • 10 questions you must ask yourself to unleash your storytellers voice
  • telling tips and tricks explained
  • example MID TERM PLANS FOR TEACHERS! Save time planning with specially developed resources developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

I LOVE MY WORLD – over 8000 copies sold!

Paper-free version “This is a must for all” Michael Morpurgo – author and poet

Chris Holland wrote this book to help people who want to care for the Earth by helping them feel at home and part of the land, part of the dance of life.

It’s a playful guidebook on how to share our connection to nature through a wide range of activities and games, stories and practical skills.

This books is written for forest school leaders, teachers, scout leaders, parents and grandparents, outdoor educators, youth leaders and teens.

And it’s Chris Holland’s personal learning journey into the spirit of all things.

The Storytelling for outdoor learning Year Course

12 more stories to develop your storyteller’s voice. “This course is absolutely incredible.”

This year long video based training and self development course gives you the tools and the confidence to tell great stories that engage all your listeners & gives you activities and ideas to inspire creative learning, both indoors and out.

It’s a course that is drip fed, month by month with videos, storyboards, tips and tricks, audio  downloads, activity ideas, curriculum links and more!  Priced at less than £4 per week – it’s amazingly good value. 

Embedded within the stories are holistic principles of ecology, permaculture and wonder. These will develop a sense of curiosity, earth care and a loving respect for all beings.
Certificated Professional and Self Development for:

  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides
  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!

NEST – Nature-connection

Education & Storytelling for families.

This is what you get:

  • 12 earth care tales, drip fed, to watch, learn and share
  • Hand drawn storyboards to help you remember the stories at a glance
  • Mentoring tips for parents and children
  • 100s of fun filled activities for learning and play, linked to the story in the video
  • Questions to unleash your storytellers voice
  • Storytelling telling tips and tricks explained
  • Nature connection activities and storytelling games for all ages
  • Fun and silly stuff to do
  • Nature art activity suggestions
  • MID TERM PLANS linking every story to the UK’s National Curriculum, specially developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

The NEST playbook for families

A video based, nature-story led, playful learning course for families that’s “bursting with ideas”

This is what you get:

  • 10 minute story video of Chris telling an ancient Chinese fable
  • A hand drawn storyboard to help you remember the story at a glance
  • Mentoring tips for parents and children
  • 30+ fun filled activities for learning, linked to the story in the video
  • 10 questions you must ask yourself to unleash your storytellers voice
  • Storytelling telling tips and tricks explained
  • Nature connection activities and storytelling games for all ages
  • Example curriculum linked MID TERM PLANS specially developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

Natural Musicians set 1 – The game changing way to teach music, nature connection and create community.

A confidence building adventure in facilitating moments of natural connection and musical oneness.

This is PART ONE of a groundbreaking connective training journey that helps your musical self emerge, and transform into a more confident and skilled group facilitator, teacher, home educating parent or outdoor activity leader. 

As used by the British National Parks Education Rangers team!

NO instruments required!

These activities help develop

  1. Creativity
  2. Belonging
  3. Nowness
  4. Flow states
  5. Freedom of expression
  6. Connection to self, each other and nature
  7. Confidence
  8. Fine and gross motor skills.

The following storypacks 1 – 12 contain a video of Chris Holland telling the story, the storyboard, bundles of outdoor learning ideas and Mid Term Plans, professional tellers tips and tricks, questions to unleash your storytellers voice… and more.

Whole Learning story pack 1: How Dragonfly came to be

An enjoyable and engaging creation story with fun activities and lots of links to mini beasts and numeracy.

Whole Learning story pack 2 – How Robin got his red breast 

 A hearty tale about courage, doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and standing up for what you love.

Whole Learning story pack 3 – The Rainbow Makers 

An Achomawi myth about how Rainbows came to be, that links to teamwork, climate change and thinking as if all life matters.

Whole Learning story pack 4: The Wise Fool

A light hearted and witty wisdom tale from France about creative conflict resolution, marketplace and jesters of old.

Whole Learning story pack 5: Why frogs are timid.

A didgeridoo accompanied tale from Australia about the power of words, growth mindset and watching the weather.

Whole Learning story pack 6: Grandfather Rock and the Coming of Stories

A native folk tale from North American about how stories came to be, how rocks support life, and the power of bringing our voice to the world.

Whole Learning story pack 7: The World Fruit Tree

An engaging and musical story from the heart of the rainforest about how fruit came to grow all over the world.

Whole Learning story pack 8: Fox Brings Fire

A dramatic tale of empathy, survival, volcanoes and the secret of how Fire came to be hidden in the trees.

Whole Learning story pack 9: The Glass Cupboard 

A modern fairy tale about give and take, making best of an unfortunate event and the wisdom of a generous and humble King.

Whole Learning story pack 10: The Old Oak Tree and the Young Oak Tree

A British story about the seasons, dealing with change, coping with fears, the wisdom of elders and a song to unite it all.

Whole Learning story pack 11: Mikku and the Trees

A Latvian tale about loss, the generosity and harshness of nature, and the carelessness of adolescence.

Whole Learning story pack 12: The Curupira and the Greedy Hunter

An Amazonian folk tale about respect for traditions and the folly and selfishness of human greed.

Whole Learning story pack bundle

The Storyteller’s Playbook – for teachers and educators plus the 12 stories listed above

All the stories and mid term plans from the Storytelling for outdoor learning year course. This bundle contains 13 stories and the mid term plans.

Go to Chris Holland’s storefront to view ALL available resources to assist you in becoming an outdoor storyteller and educator

Chris Holland’s storefront

Chris Holland storefront resources
What Children Really Want

This ‘Nature’s Storyteller’ Blog Post is brought to you by…


What Children Really Want©

Posted on Leave a comment

Explaining grief and bereavement to children

Greif, loss, bereavement for children

If your are finding it difficult to explain grief, death, bereavement to young children, try it with a storybook

Losing someone close to you is hard. Children can have a very confusing, and difficult time getting to terms with the passing of someone they normally have contact with.

Whether a pet, relative or a friend – death is a hard subject to deal with for young or old alike. Older people have a whole different understanding of death and grief. Little ones need to have gentle support in finding out what is going on.

“The more the subject of death is approached at a young age, the easier it will be to accept and discuss later on.” Thank goodness for children’s books on the subjects of loss, grief, bereavement. They are not sad or depressing – they are full of life and tributes!

A child struggles and is often confused. Depending on their ages, and their parents points of view and belief, many children cannot grasp what is going on – where has their relative/friend/pet suddenly gone?

It is comforting to see that there are many caring authors out there. When words are hard to find, you can turn to the pages of these books.  We have a link below to authors who provide great books on the subject of explaining and supporting children who have suffered a loss. They open up a world of suppressed conversation and they release deep emotions. These books have been known to help adults too.

There are children’s books on bereavement that aid the loss either of a parent, grandparent/other family member, friend, or a pet. They are written and illustrated in such a caring manner to ease the pain and bring a little understanding and relief.

A sense of knowing that it is okay to be sad is encouraged. Loved ones pass away, it is part of the cycle of life. There are children’s books on death that explain it by using nature as an example. Such as following the journey of a falling leaf. The story of an oak tree. Lifecycles of other animals.

It’s important that children accept that death is just a natural part of life, it is nothing to be feared – just accepted and understood – it is not the end. It will be sad and painful, but people and animals can live on through memories. Many happy times follow. Let time be the great healer. It’s important to still talk about people and pets that have passed – remember the good times and feel the warmth of having known that person or pet.

Sad child grieving

There are also healing activity books on the market, and special guide books to help with understanding death.

Choose your book carefully. Take into account who the book is aimed at – for a child of a certain age. A child who has suffered the loss of a parent, friend, pet. Then think about which type of story would be best for that child – one about the loss of a direct person, or maybe a gentler book that explains death by using a tale about the cycle of life with nature as the example.

Many of the storybooks about death are not too invasive in a deep religious sense. They seem to respect that not every family is deeply religious. Families have different beliefs, or no beliefs, and it’s not nice for a book to force religion onto children. These books about grief must focus on how a child feels, express love, memories and comfort. They should not talk excessively about heaven, angels, etc. A book about bereavement for children should provide simple and calming explanations that are realistic.

Some books about grief concentrate on the cycle of life using nature as a beautiful natural example, so the mention of an afterlife in heaven with angels is not needed. A child can still get the concept of death being a natural cycle full of new life.

It’s very important for children to focus on their feelings and emotions in their struggle to understand what is going on during such a sad and confusing time. It is your own decision if you choose to tell your child about heaven and angels afterwards.

See Mr. Rogers talk about death, in a beautiful, soft manner full of compassion.

We have chosen 22  top selling books that talk about death, grief and bereavement in a natural, beautiful, and soft manner.

Click on the image below to see our reviews, choices, and videos of the stories being read on Youtube so you get to preview most of the books before buying.

books for kids about grief, bereavement

Book choices, reviews, and YT videos to assist you in choosing which book may be right for your needs

Dog Heaven / Cat Heaven book covers
Dog Heaven / Cat Heaven

For animal lovers who have lost a beloved cat – ‘Cat Heaven’

For animal lovers who have lost a beloved dog – ‘Dog Heaven’

What Children Really Want

This ‘Explaining grief and bereavement to children’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…


What Children Really Want©

Posted on Leave a comment

Her Body Can – A book about self-acceptance

Her Body Can_cover_front and back

“It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will”

Sam Cooke (1963)

Finally! ‘Her Body Can’ – A children’s book that has been long overdue.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been wondering where are the books that beautifully depict stories of diversity and abilities? I know they have slowly been seeping through, and are out there, but you don’t hear much about them. Many remain hidden and do not get a chance to shine.

Well, you’re hearing a lot about this one, thank goodness.

Her Body Can

A children’s book whose aim is to promote a body positive attitude. Full of poetic declarations of body positivity and self-love for all young girls – No matter their size. (And yes, ‘His Body Can’ will also be coming out soon! It will focus on the insecurities and gender roles that boys may struggle with)

Her Body Can, by Ady Meschke & Katie Crenshaw.

By Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw. Illustrated by Li Liu

“Your bodies most important job is to carry you…”

Ady Meschke & Katie Crenshaw

Her Body Can is written in an easy digestible flowing rhyme. It takes the reader on a beautifully illustrated journey across 33 pages of pure acceptance and diversity.

Most stories that broadcast a message have the tendency to unwillingly highlight negativity. They tell us of painful happenings, tears are shed and fear is show. Her Body Can is not such a case. It just shows positivity bathed in warm characters depicted in different shapes, colours, abilities and even religions – all getting along together.

Your body is capable of many things. As long as you respect it and feed it the correct nutrition and give it movement, it does not matter which shape it forms around your bones. Your body is there to carry you and work for you, not to be a pretty, stick-thin object solely there to please others. Many girls suffer from unnecessary shame about their bodies. This occurs in many girls over 8 years old. they become body conscious. Others begin body shaming them. Because a child is surrounded by images of pretty princesses, gorgeous photo-shopped models, and girls trying to be a size zero, it’s only normal that they feel the need to fit in to this unfit way of thinking.

That is why I’m soooooo happy to see ‘Her body Can’ doing well and openly being praised by teachers and parents, carers and grandparents alike. This book is receiving fantastic reviews and is selling fast. It is being read to young girls and they are learning to accept themselves in this delightful way. Such is the power of a book when published correctly. It’s more than ok to be plum shaped, pear shaped, have large hips and beautiful sturdy looking legs.

Many large sized girls can do so much more than what they are given credit for. Yes, large sized girls can do yoga. They are flexible and can dance just as good, or even better than smaller sized girls. They can do all kinds of sports. Large sized girls should not have to live in the shadows. They should not have to hide and eat. They should not develop self-hatred.

I cannot wait until more books like this hit the bookshelves, (and land in kindle erm…hands)

Follow up books by the authors Ady and Katie are in the making! – A series is to follow in hot pursuit that will concentrate on certain characters that are already shown in ‘Her Body Can’. It is promised to be very inclusive – I can’t wait!

Want to read a little bit more about ‘Her Body Can’?

USA heart shaped flag

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon USA

Canada Heart Flag

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon CA

UK heart shaped flag

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon UK

Spanish heart shaped flag

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon ES

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon AU

Buy ‘Her Body Can’ on Amazon DE

You can also head over to Book Depository

It has free delivery worldwide!

Book-Depository
Book Depository
What Children Really Want

This ‘Her Body Can’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…


What Children Really Want©

Posted on Leave a comment

Ron Clark – the student whisperer

Ron Clark is the Student Whisperer

Every school needs a Ron Clark

How an ordinary man changed the lives of thousands of students and teachers – the fun way

So, who is Ron Clark?

Ron Clark is an educator. A very special one who is responsible for changing the lives of hundreds of school children, giving them a huge opportunity to lead fulfilling and successful lives full of the rich priorities.

Ron’s motivation comes from trying to bring out the successful student in every child. He started out working with disadvantaged school children

This innovative educator’s journey was turned into a television movie in 2006 – ‘The Ron Clark Story’ starring Matthew Perry in the main role of Ron Clark.

Watch the full length movie at the end of this blog post (1.5 hrs approx.)

Ron is the founder of the highly successful Ron Clark Academy. Along with Kim Bearden, the co-founder, they direct this unique, private non-profit Academy that is located in Atlanta, Georgia. It has about 119 students, and the education for each student costs $18,000. The costs are funded by the profits of teacher training courses and from sponsors. The school children are taught essential rules for success that are useful in and out of the classroom. All the while, in an original and highly entertaining way so the students truly enjoy learning from the heart.

It’s not all fun and games, but the students enjoy Ron Clark’s natural learning techniques, based upon respect, manners, higher thinking, all the while using engaging teaching methods.

Ron Clark came a long way. He started out as a teacher in North Carolina, later moving to Harlem, New York City. It was there in New York that Ron saw that he could make a difference in the lives of school children from difficult backgrounds.

  • 1: The Essential 55 (2003) – An award-winning educator’s rules for discovering the successful student in every child.
  • 2: The Essential 55 Workbook (2003) – Activities to fire up enthusiasm in the classroom. Fun role-playing excerises. Quizzes to discover a child’s strength.
  • 3: The End of Molasses Classes (2011) – 101 extraordinary solutions for parents and teachers, to help get kids unstuck.
  • 4: The Excellent 11 (2005) – An award-winning teachers guide to raising children who love to learn.

What is so special about the Ron Clark Academy?

Ron Clark engages this students 100%. He does this by forming a curriculum that is entertaining. Students learn at a speedy rate, throughly enjoying every moment. This is executed using the power of hip-hop, rap, dancing, and making lessons enjoyable.

Other schools have a lot to learn as they continue to churn out dry, dull lessons that follow the ways of the old – built upon a prison structure, spitting out students that are not educated on how to thrive in the real world. Not taught how to function amongst society. Not shown how to build upon their in-born skills and ability to learn any thing they put their mind to. Of course parents play a vital role, but the school system – school teachers can really make an impact on the lives of the youth that are sent to learn under their wing.

And Ron Clark knows how to take them under this wing. He trains teachers to go out into the world and spread his teaching method.

Ron Clark’s 11 traits of excellence are…

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Adventure
  3. Creativity
  4. Reflection
  5. Balance
  6. Compassion
  7. Confidence
  8. Humor
  9. Common sense
  10. Appreciation
  11. Resilience

Have a peep inside the Ron Clark experience!…

Ron Clark has written some excellent books.

All Ron Clark Books

Get Ron Clark’s inspirational books on Amazon…

USA heart shaped flag

Ron Clark books on Amazon US

Canada Heart Flag

Ron Clark books on Amazon CA

UK heart shaped flag

Ron Clark books on Amazon UK

Spanish heart shaped flag

Ron Clark books on Amazon ES

Ron Clark books on Amazon AU

Ron Clark books on Amazon DE

Watch ‘The Ron Clark Story’ staring Matthew Perry

You can also head over to Book Depository

It has free delivery world wide

Book Depository. Free delivery worldwide
Book Depository

This ‘Ron Clark’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want