Children running carefree down a forested trail. Scanning nearby trees for birds. Building forts from fallen logs. The imagery around Forest School – a worldwide movement focused on bringing pre-school-aged children back outside – is pretty magical.
But, it's more than that. Forest School is ideal for parents who are passionate about sparking a sense of curiosity in their children and laying the foundation for a life of environmental stewardship.
But at the end of the day – what makes Forest School different?
Trusting children to learn
At Forest School, we view children as competent, curious, and capable learners. We trust that they will learn at their own pace and that the natural environment will provide rich learning opportunities.
We use place-based, inquiry-driven learning opportunities to expand their vocabulary, deepen their understanding of the natural world, challenge them physically, and so much more. At Forest School, the children learn to trust themselves and their ability to work through challenging moments, successfully interact with their friends, and learn new skills.
Building meaningful relationships
Relationships are in integral part of Forest School. They come in many forms, and flourish in our natural, open-ended setting. Forest School is a sustained process of regular and repeated visits to the same natural space, allowing for time for the children to connect with the land and develop a sense of belonging within the group.
We love watching the children create meaningful relationships with their peers. We also love watching the children develop relationships with other living things, like the plants and animals around our space.
The freedom to simply play
If you could return to the freedom of your childhood, what would you be doing? Probably playing, right? At Forest School, we value play as a vehicle for learning and skill development. We also value the time children need to dive deeply into meaningful play with others, which is why we always allow time for unstructured, uninterrupted free play.
Each day is different. Whether we spend time exploring, climbing, running, make-believing, singing, reflecting, laughing, or creating friendships, it is all just a regular part of our day.