Founded in November 2014, Miami Nature Playschool (MNP) is not a traditional Mommy and Me, Preschool or Kindergarten, but an alternative educational space that advocates to preserve the pure essence of childhood during the first six years of life of a child through our Parent and Child Institute IMAGINA and the Forest Kindergarten program ADVENTURES IN THE FOREST , in addition to trying to return some unstructured time to children in school age up to 10 years during teacher planning days, holidays, breaks and weekends via our FOREST DAYS program.
We gather families to build child-oriented, playful communities whose main goal is to supporting social, emotional and physical development in a healthy, nurturing environment utilizing the tools of nature.
Our Mentors aim to guide children at the Forest kindergarten and Forest days into experiences that nurture their connection to nature, developing awareness and care for our planet in an organic way. Our Facilitators help parents at Imagina and First Wonders, to discover the importance of becoming a good role models to foster in their children a wide range of personal and interpersonal skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
VALUE OF UNSTRUCTURED
OUTDOOR PLAY-BASED LEARNING
Our programs are designed to positively connect young children with nature through immersion activities that stimulate their innate curiosity about the natural world.
One of the cornerstones of this educational philosophy is that there is no pre-determined curriculum. Rather, the lesson plans flow organically from what nature presents us with and from children's interests each day.
We trust their interest reflects what they are developmentally ready to learn. We believe that young children learn best through direct experience with the natural world.
Our goal is to tap into their sense of wonder about nature while teaching values and basic natural science principles in the field. The facilitator's role is that of a mentor and guide, actively modeling curiosity and engagement in nature while allowing children's interest to lead the day.
Nature is a healing salve for anxiety and inner conflicted emotions.
Often children reveal stress from their home life either physically or verbally. At MNP we believe It is important guide, help and give space to children to feel comfortable to talk about their feelings and troubles.
At the same time we maintain the position that simply being in nature is therapeutic and to resist taking on the role of child-therapist or confidante.
There are so many physical benefits as a result of spending time outside that we could not list them all here. Benefits for children supported by scientific studies includes:
*Increase creativity and imagination.
*Boost the immune system
*20 minutes outdoors improves the ability to focus, even in children diagnosed with ADHD.
*Reduce the risk of myopia on children.
*Helps fight anxiety and stress.
We look for children to recognize both their own abilities and those of others.
Competition is prevalent in our world, looking for the final winner in every step of our life. The Forest-kindergarten model values cooperation, teamwork and encourages the idea that we can accomplish more when we work together without taking away the right of the children to express their desires and to develop the ability to be comfortable by themselves.