Have you ever met a kinder that could sit still for any length of time? Me neither! Our little bundles of joy seem to have endless energy and enthusiasm when they are young. Spending long hours playing and exploring outdoors is a great outlet. While we all want our youngsters to be brave young explorers, as parents we find ourselves pushing our young children towards early education so they can also be smart and well spoken.
Is it possible to have both? Absolutely. In the last 20 years the number of Forest Kindergarten's in Denmark has roughly doubled. These outdoor schools are certainly less than conventional as learning tools consist of sticks, rocks, mud and even knives. Getting dirty is not only ok but it's encouraged. Smiles abound.
Educators and parents are finding huge benefits to having their young children attend these outdoor play schools. They find that their children are less stressed and they are able to focus better indoors.
How is this possible? In our own experience, when children are allowed to explore outside on their own, they gain skills such as critical thinking and decision making along with physcial abilities such as dexterity and balance. The open environment supports learning in so many ways. All children have a natural sense of curiosity and the outdoor space offers them the opportunity to follow trails and leads, so they may reach well thought out conclusions on their own.
Throughout these outdoor lessons children are interacting with their peers, developing much needed social skills with minimal adult forced direction. Work in a continual expectation of being kind and helpful to one another, and you are building a strong and respectful young child.
With so many years ahead of them behind a desk, consider a Forest Kindergarten for your young children. Perhaps a blended learning option is available. Picture your child singing alphabet and number songs while skipping through the forest having the time of their lives.
Going to school has never been more fun or healthy for our children, than in an outdoor setting such as this. If your little ones like to spend time outdoors, one piece rainsuits and rubber boots are a great investment!
No Forest Pre-Schools or Forest Kindergarten's in your area? Maybe you could get involved to help bring the outdoors to a school near you!