in the Forest
A program based in the German FOREST KINDERGARTEN
The Forest Kindergarten Approach (or Waldkindergarten: Garden of Children) is an educational approach born as result of the revolutionary vision of Friedrich Frobel more than 180 years ago in Germany.
This Early Childhood Education approach is held almost exclusively outdoors; whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest environment, even Infants are set outside during the winter for daily naps and play. The model is also known as Outdoor Nursery or Nature Walkindergarten.
Forest School is a term used for the same learning approach but intended for children in school age where bushcraft is an important part of the daily activities.
This mentoring model recognizes and respects the ability of human beings to learn through play for themselves.
Outdoor Classroom | Forest School | Unstructured Play | Nature Based Day Camp
Approach emphasizes several major themes:
1. Promotes child’s individual empowerment, self-awareness and group bonding.
2. Models respect for all living beings and promotes ways to minimize our impact in the ecosystem while enjoying outdoors.
3. Assist the children lifelong learning skills and strategies, like problem solving, risk awareness, risk assessment and facing challenges in a safe environment.
4. Believe that there is great therapeutic value in just “being” outdoors, rather than always “doing” in the outdoors. This therapeutic benefit is important to young children as they learn positive ways in which to manage their emotions.
5. Builds Community as an outcome due the group bonding, high levels of cooperation and teamwork as consequence of accessing only nature-provided materials, resulting in developing positive social skills, conflict resolution, resilience and peer-to-peer communication support.
In partnership with
At MNP Adventures in the Forest, we maintain the original essence of the Forest Kindergarten approach where the role of the Mentors is to accompany, observe and document the children's activities from behind the scenes asking open-ended questions about the important discoveries of the day, thus allowing children to share a deep connection with nature and their peers by owning their space and experiences.
In this program there is no agenda or lessons, the emerging curriculum is created based on the decisions of the children during the day.
What makes Forest Kindergarten / School different to other forms of outdoor education?
1. Sessions are delivered on a long-term basis.
2. Sessions should be risk-aware, not risk-averse.
3. Forest Kindergarten is invested in holistic development of the participants.
4. Forest Kindergarten should take place in a natural wooded environment where possible.
5. Forest Kindergarten should be oversight by a qualified Forest School Leader, and practitioners in the team must to maintain and develop their professional practice continuously.6. Forest Kindergarten is learner-centred with learner-based outcomes.