Our co-op preschool is not a forest preschool, but it is inspired by forest preschools. Forest preschool is often called a “preschool without walls,” because, as the name suggests, it takes place in the forest. They are popular in northern Europe and slowly gaining popularity in the United States.
So, whats the big deal about forest preschool?
Forest preschool is about getting children outside and let them learn from the environment. Just by being outside, children are already practicing so many STEM skills, like observation, but with a little adult guidance children also get to learn about more traditional preschool skills like the alphabet and numbers. Evidence shows that being in a natural environment, like a forest, can provide restorative effects to children by improving mood and cognition.
Forest preschool is about serendipity, exploration, companionship, independence, but most of all, fun.
How can you incorporate outdoor learning into your child’s life?
Well, this seems kind of silly, but just take them outside! Okay, yea, I know you already knew that. Incorporating the outside classroom only takes a little bit of forethought. As you will notice there a lot of outside activities on this website and a ton of other sites, like nature play, out there. As weather permits, you can also move some of your more “traditional” activities outside. Signing, dancing, art projects – they can all be done outside!
Here are some things we have done outside:
- Bark Rubbing
- Scavenger hunts
- Searching for bugs
- Building forts
- Collecting leaves (for art projects)
- Nature Tray
- Fort building