Forest School fosters growth in all seven early childhood developmental domains.
By being outside and following the Forest School model, children have opportunities to grow in all seven early childhood developmental domains: gross motor (running, crawling, rolling, jumping, climbing), fine motor (hand-eye coordination), language (speaking and listening), cognitive (cause and effect, reasoning, counting and patterns or early math skills), social and emotional (compassion, collaboration, leadership skills, group bonding, self-awareness, empathy, observant, and self-regulation), self-help (independence), and finally, morals and values (learned through observation and modeling, this also includes a respect for all living and nonliving things).
The Six Tenets of Mighty Seeds
The heart of our emergent curriculum begins with a question inside a child’s mind. From there, our teachers act as mentors, drawing from a wealth of knowledge and experience, to guide them to think deeper, to inquire, to investigate, and to experiment. The natural curiosity of the children will spark the day’s activities and learnings. This is the philosophy from which all other tenets emerge.
Extraordinary things happen when children are allowed to play—especially when able to play in nature. A deep learning takes place in areas of social and emotional development, with a focus on kindness, compassion, empathy, cooperation, and teamwork. Quite naturally, studies occur in ecology, biology, ornithology, math, physics, and engineering.
Humans are wired for connection and community. As kids build forts from sticks, they call upon the group to gather, to listen to one another, and to act as a team. Shared experiences foster respect through helping one another on our explorations. Forest School connects families to a greater community. By holding school in our local parks, children grow to associate their home with the nature around them.
We believe that children should grow up learning how to dress for weather and to be outside no matter what. At Forest School, we cultivate a relationship with the seasons by being immersed in it. Children dance in the rain, make snow angels in the cold, and run barefoot across a prairie warmed by the sun.
MOVEMENT FIT FOR A CHILD
The forest is their jungle gym. Children become stronger in Forest School because they spend the day moving and working through play. They climb trees, balance over logs, jump over vines, walk barefoot on uneven ground, and carry materials for their creations. They have the space to be loud or be quiet – to run when little bodies beg to run, to throw leaves when their mind tells them to explore. And when needing a moment away, children are encouraged to sit under a tree or find a special spot that soothes them. Children become self-aware in this space.
all are welcome
Forest School fosters respect and appreciation through the celebration of our differences. There are therapeutic benefits of outdoor play for children with sensory integration disorders, on the autism spectrum, and for those with ADHD. We are working towards an integrative program with support for kids with special needs.