Why Forest School?
This is a very common question that comes up for parents who may be new to the idea of outdoor learning environments, or curious about the benefits of an "alternative" early childhood program. Forest school is a term that evolved from German and Scandinavian outdoor kindergartens in the early 1900s, and the movement has been growing in the U.S. since the 1990s. Waldorf education aims to connect children with nature in order to education the whole child, often referred to as the "head, heart and hands" in Waldorf literature. New research continues to reinforce that children need to move freely, play as much as possible, and explore the natural world constantly in order to develop healthy bodies, curious minds, and happy hearts. All of this leads to the happier, more capable, more balanced adults that we want to see our children grow up to be. In response to the question, "why forest school?" I want to share this article that beautifully illustrates the importance of nature-based learning for young children. These are interesting to read even if you are already familiar with the benefits of forest schools. Enjoy!
Six Ways Nature Helps Children Learn. Greater Good Magazine, 2019. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_ways_nature_helps_children_learn.