Children learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings about their landscape, their classmates, and themselves.
Children learn the joy of a muddy puddle, a slug, or a salmonberry. They enjoy being in the moment and connecting with their environment with their whole mind and body.
Children experience a wide range of sensory connections that they do not experience indoors. From the smell of the forest after rain to the feel of water falling on your head, your child’s senses are connected in a way that makes your child feel comfortable, since the children choose the ways that they connect with their environment.
Children who are in natural places over an entire year get to know the patterns and cycles of that place. They develop an intimacy with it that they would not have if they explored it once. They know when it is muddy or what will happen to the river when it rains.
Children are exposed to many different levels of physical challenge, and they can enjoy these challenges at their own level and at their own pace. They develop an understanding of their body’s capabilities that they might not develop otherwise.
Children who are outdoors encounter a lot that is new. We encourage them to ask questions and consider what the answers could be. Children develop a spirit of inquiry and know that it’s more important to ask interesting questions than to find a single right answer. Encouraging questions helps develop a new generation of scientists, inventors, and problem-solvers.
We enjoy sharing books and oral stories and invite children to participate as storytellers as well. Understanding the shape of a story and yourself as a storyteller are important literacy skills.
Building projects such as shelter-building are excellent for children’s understanding of shapes and patterns in three dimensions. These are an exercise in practical math.