“Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun. And the best place for these experiences is outdoors, in the natural world.” Center for Families, Communities, Schools and Children’s Learning.
In a forest kindergarten children (3-6 years) are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a natural environment. Typical activities are:
- building shelters or large structures with branches
- playing hide and seek
- running, walking, hiking together
- exploring the forest
- listening and telling stories, singing, making music and rhythms
- climbing trees
- collecting and counting objects
- playing in sand, snow and mud
- making a fire
- preparing food
“Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.” The Audubon Nature Preschool.
There are different types of forest kindergartens and schools. Kindergartens without a building like Maruntabo (watch the video about Maruntabo: http://gritineducation.com/maruntabo-a-school-without-a-building/) or schools wíth a building and an outdoor curriculum.
Watch the next video’s about the forest school in England, the forest kindergarten in Scotland and the waldkindergarten in Germany.
A forest school in the United Kingdom (England):
A forest kindergarten in the United Kingdom (Scotland):
A waldkindergarten in Germany:
“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.” Valeria Andrews, A Passion for this Earth.