The great outdoors was the setting for Morpeth-based Goosehill Private Nursery’s Christmas party.
The three-to-five-year-olds arrived at its nature kindergarten site in Bothal Woods not knowing what to expect and they had a big surprise when into the woods came an elf, leading a reindeer.
As they gradually noticed, they ran over excitedly and were able to feed the reindeer – whose name was Oslo – with reindeer moss.
After this, the children were all very surprised to see Santa Claus wandering into the forest, in search of his lost reindeer.
Fortunately, they knew exactly where the reindeer was and were able to tell Santa, who was so grateful that he stayed and read the children a story – ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Before he left, Santa helped each child to throw their ‘Christmas wishes’, previously written by the children back at the nursery, onto the firepit and they watched the flames magically change colour as the smoke carried the wishes all the way to Santa’s elves at the North Pole.
Goosehill Private Nursery deputy manager Jan Clarke said: “We have a strong outdoor ethos and we first started developing our outdoor learning sessions about nine years ago.
“We now have a number of qualified forest school and beach school leaders on the staff, including our two qualified early years teachers who work with the pre-school group.
“Our nature kindergarten is now a big part of our three to fives provision. The children enjoy sessions at our woodland site, at the beach or at our allotment – where they grow, cook and eat delicious fresh vegetables.
“We have, this autumn, hosted a number of visits from managers and practitioners from Scandinavia.
“They came along to learn from us about our indoor provision, but left equally impressed with our forest sessions.”