Young children deserve as much time outdoors as possible, learning through play in natural environments. A growing body of research is showing that human development is most healthy when young children are allowed to move freely, focusing primarily on social-emotional development and connection with the natural world. Forest schools help provide the opportunity for nature connection that humans biologically require, and our Foundation was established to proliferate this model.
A Forest School is an all-outdoor, all-weather, nature connection school for a mixed-age group of children. Emergent curriculum supports child-directed, interest-based play that observes seasonal changes.
Young children’s innate connections with the natural world, themselves and each other are nurtured so that they can flourish into their best selves.
They move their bodies freely around variable and uneven surfaces, building physical skill and awareness.
Their emotions and spirits are nourished by their developing relationships with flora and fauna, Earth and sky, themselves and each other.
Crafting, identification, and open-ended free play with loose parts fosters their memory recall, problem-solving, pattern recognition, pre-reading, and pre-STEAM skills.
Their imaginations are kindled with play, story and song. Every day is suffused with wonder.
This strong foundation supports healthy development in all aspects of the growing child. They become more secure, balanced and connected adults whose early love and awe for our amazing planet drives their stewardship of it.
The Forest School Foundation (www.TheForestSchoolFoundation.org) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Asheville, NC, created to provide future generations with safe and natural outdoor environments in which to play, learn, socialize, and develop. The Foundation plans to establish and support Forest Schools across the WNC region, including the provision of scholarships for underserved populations.
Our first school is Growing Wild Forest School, (www.growingwildforestschool.org), started in December 2016. This five-day-a-week, half-day school for kids ages 3-6 meets in West Asheville.
Young children deserve as much time outdoors as possible, learning through play in natural environments. A growing body of research is showing that human development is most healthy when young children are allowed to move freely, focusing…