Forest school offers a wide range of benefits including social/emotional, physical, cognitive, multi-aged and small class size, a deep connection to the environment, and a life-long love of learning.
Through interactions with peers and trusted adults, children learn to form strong relationships with each other, themselves, and the environment. Forest school offers a safe, naturally calming setting to explore, create, take healthy risks, conquer fears, build empathy and community, and foster self-empowerment.
In the outdoors, all of a child's senses are engaged. Tree climbing, balancing on logs, running on uneven terrain, navigating icy creeks, hiking, and using tools to create and build all help children develop gross and fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and coordination. Fresh air and natural light boost the immune system and strengthen eyesight.
The forest offers many opportunities for counting, measuring, working with patterns, and problem solving in a hands-on way.
Children perform self-initiated experiments with a variety of materials. We might explore gravity by making our own marble runs, or decomposition by using a hammer to break down a rotting piece of wood into soil. We explore language, new ideas, and creativity through music and storytelling.
Children form a deep connection to the land and learn to care for the earth as they create dens and hideaways and name their favorite trees. They learn to identify plants that are safe to eat and follow animal tracks in the mud as they gain first hand knowledge of the connection of all living things in the forest.