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Forest Kindergarten

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Ella Smith

on 28 November 2014

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Transcript of Forest Kindergarten

Children learn: science, math, art, physical education, social studies in the most enjoyable way.

Fitness, being outdoors was associates with greater vitality (strength and energy).

Teaches children how to recognize and assess risks for themselves

Offers an alternative to digital and electronic sources for learning and social interaction, the children in the natural environment were more pro social than the children in regular classrooms

Enormously enjoyable for children and adults alike

Prevents future mental ill health


What is Forest Kindergarten?
Philosophy
Children need to spend a large portion of their day outdoors to get the natural stimulation and hands-on learning experiences they require to thrive. Being outdoors encourages imaginative play, creativity, hand-eye coordination, balance, physical strength and mental clarity, as well as increased problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Additionally, it leads to more cooperation and teamwork and raises children’s environmental awareness.
Teaching Strategy/Methods
Observe and scaffolding
Inquiry
Zone of Proximal development




Forest Kindergarten
Video
Forest Kindergarten is a form of kindergarten education, which is held in an outdoor environment.

The original idea of kindergarten was thought of by the German Educator, Fredrich Froebel. His concept of kindergarten literally translates into "children's garden."

Whereas forest kindergarten; “Waldkinder” translates into “children of the forest”
Goals
Engage all senses through exploration of their natural environment.
Allow children to learn and grow at their own pace and according to their own interests.
Expose children to nature more often in order to improve their health and learning, and to enrich their overall development.
Develop a confidence and sense of who they are, by making their own decisions and taking responsibilty of their choices.
Promote independence, self- regulation, and enhance self-esteem.
History
History
In 1993, a group of ECEs from Bridgwater College in West England, visited Denmark to look at their pre-school system. They returned back to England very impressed by the largely outdoor, child-centred/play-based pre-schools. They started their own ‘Forest School’ with children attending the college daycare. They observed children, watching their own creativity blossom and ‘scaffolded’ skills and ideas. Their entire practise was impacted as a result. (Forest School Association, N.D.)

The first forest school in Canada was Carp Ridge Preschool, outside of Ottawa, in 2007.
"The development of Forest schools began in Britain in the mid 1990's - it is based on the Scandinavian idea that considers children's contact with nature to be extremely important. Forest schools were developed in Scandinavia in the 1950's and focused on teaching children the natural world." (O'Brien & Murray, N.D., pg.7)
Differences/Similarities
Similarities
Waldorf: Nature Aspect
Montessori: Mix age group, and scaffolding
Emergent & Highscope: Based on child's interest
Differences
IT IS IN THE FOREST, NOT IN A CLASSROOM !!
Less rules
More freedom
Very child directed
No strict routines
Benefits/Outcomes
Is forest kindergarten
for everyone?
Typical Day Schedule
9:30 Drop off

9:45 Children meet at the front of the forest, everyone has a bathroom break before heading on the trail

10:00-10:30 As a group, the children venture into the main outdoor classroom

10:30-11:00 Snack

11:00-11:15 After snack, continue to main camp

11:15-12:30 Main exploration and lunch

12:30 Venture back to main gate

12:45-1:00 Pick Up

References
Nature Kindergarten, (2014). Proposal for a Nature Kindergarten. Retrieved from: http://naturekindergarten.sd62.bc.ca/proposal/

Unknown, (N.D.) Forest Kindergarten Summary Sheet. Retrieved from: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/FKreportAppendix.pdf/$FILE/FKreportAppendix.pdf

Unknown, (N.D.) Benefits of Forest School. Maplewood Forest School. Retrieved from: http://www.maplewoodforestschool.ca/benefits-of-forest-school.php

Forest School Association. (N.D.) History of forest school. Forest school association. Retrieved from: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/history-of-forest-school/

Wilson, R. A., (2012). Teaching among the trees. American Forests. Retrieved from: http://www.americanforests.org/magazine/article/teaching-among-the-trees/

Cedarsong Nature School. (2011). Forest kindergarten teacher training and certification. Cedarsong nature school. Retrieved from: http://cedarsongnatureschool.org/forest-kindergarten-teacher-training-program/training/

Unknown. (N.D.). Daily routine of forest kindergarten. Retrieved from: http://www.barrieforestkindergarten.com/childonground/Daily_Routine.html
Video
Full transcript