Four Remarkable things about forest school
1. Uneven terrain and early childhood literacy go
Early childhood literacy educators recommend that children spend at least some of their play time on uneven ground.
Doing so not only improves physical balance, but also enhances a child’s spatial reasoning and visual awareness, both of which are needed to begin the sometimes challenging process of learning to read.
2. just as the crow flies, The efficiency of the forest school path is unparalleled.
In a conventional daycare environment, a lot of time is lost in transition.
Time that’s spent getting boots on (and off), or time lost between activities is put to better use at forest school, where educators don’t impose rigid lesson plans, and children have as long as they need to learn.
And because forest school children are always immersed in a learning environment, and because they’re always exploring, they make the most of each day.
3. The predictability of playgrounds can teach children to be less aware of their surroundings.
It’s not surprising that when children first start at forest school, they trip a lot as they get used to the uneven terrain.
As children adjust, however, their spatial awareness increases and their gross motor skills improve, and the risk of more serious injury is greatly reduced.
4. Children are happier with less.
Like many early childhood educators, we got our start in a traditional daycare setting. We were keen and excited and determined to do everything right.
We want the children in our care to have fun and learn, so we dutifully stocked up on every toy we could find in hopes of holding their interest. But the more stuff we packed into the room, the more children seemed to need.
When we started the forest school, we wanted to strip all that away. We started by giving children a length of rope and a stick, and we taught them instead to create their own woodland pet, which quickly became known as log dogs. Children took them everywhere. It was like they’d been given the best toy on Earth.
Even today, our woodland environment continues to reveal the power of each child’s imagination. We're constantly looking for opportunities to let children give themselves what they need, and to teach them that the forest will always meet them halfway, provided they care for it.