Take a Footstep with us to Forest School
Here at Footsteps we love to share about what we’ve been up to. A lot of these activities are centered around the Forest School approach we take. But what is that exactly? If you’re a parent looking for an alternative form of care setting for your little ones, you might want to consider those that offer a Forest School experience. In this article, we’ll talk about what Forest Schools are and the benefits they offer to pre-schoolers.
What are Forest Schools?
Forest Schools are outdoor learning environments that allow children to engage with nature and learn through exploration, discovery, and play. Forest Schools aim to foster a connection between children and the natural world while promoting physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. The curriculum is child-led and play-based, and the children are encouraged to explore and learn at their own pace.
Benefits of Forest Schools for Pre-Schoolers:
Improved physical health
One of the main benefits of Forest Schools is that they promote physical activity. Children are encouraged to run, jump, climb, and explore, which helps to develop their gross motor skills and overall physical fitness. Exposure to fresh air and sunlight can also help to strengthen their immune systems and reduce the risk of illnesses.
Enhanced cognitive development
Through exploration and play, children develop their cognitive skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. In the Forest School environment, they can learn about science, math, and language in a hands-on way. For example, they might collect leaves and compare their sizes or count the number of pine cones they find.
Emotional and social development
Forest Schools promote emotional and social development by encouraging children to work together, share, and communicate with each other. They learn to take risks, overcome challenges, and develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Spending time in nature can also have a calming effect on children and help them to regulate their emotions.
A deeper connection with nature
By spending time in nature on a regular basis, children develop a deeper appreciation and respect for the natural world. They learn about plants and animals, the changing seasons, and how to care for the environment. This connection with nature can lead to a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a desire to protect the planet.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Finally, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in both children and adults. The calming effect of the natural environment can help to regulate emotions and promote relaxation. This can be particularly beneficial for children who may be dealing with stress or anxiety in their daily lives.
Forest Schools offer a unique and valuable learning environment for pre-school aged children. By promoting physical activity, cognitive development, emotional and social development, a connection with nature, and reduced stress and anxiety, Forest Schools can help children to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. So if you’re looking for an alternative form of education for your little ones, why not give Forest Schools a try?