Outdoor Preschool

Layers

campfires in the forest
What a great spot for story time!

I’ve been waiting a bit to start posting about this as I don’t have it all worked out just yet. Still, it’s an idea with possibilities… An idea that requires layers.

It started awhile back when I began reading about the forest preschools that have been operating in Europe.  Countries like Germany, Norway and Sweden have been operating preschools that are held in forested areas and are entirely outdoors.

It reminded me of my childhood which was really idyllic.  As I have mentioned in my past post, Childhood Memories, I grew up with a mountain forest for my back yard.  Literally.  And it really was awesome.

So when one of the parents at our preschool asked me about whether I might consider providing an outdoor preschool program, I did not run screaming in the other direction.  I listened, went to a Nature 101 workshop, and now I’m looking for a location for such a program in the hopes we can make it happen.coastal trail

Here on Vancouver Island, we have a mild climate.  In the winter, our temperature stays just above the freezing mark most of the time and in the summer, we can get up to 30 degrees celsius but that is more rare than the norm.  So really, if there’s an ideal climate for an outdoor preschool, it is here, where I live.

What surprised me though was at our Nature 101 workshop, held on a Saturday in June, I dressed in layers: long pants, socks, shoes, t-shirt, fleece, then a rain jacket as suggested by our instructor.  I did not expect to need those layers.  We were outside for the entire day. And at times, I actually felt a little cold.  I would say the temperature was about 14 degrees celsius that day but in the forest, it felt colder.

Note to self:  Make sure all the children are dressed in layers, lots and lots of layers.  Every day!

I will keep you updated here as I work towards getting this program up and running. And if you read this and you know something about outdoor nature programs for preschoolers… please share your expertise as I’d love to learn from you!

Okay! Now back to scouting locations…

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6 thoughts on “Outdoor Preschool

  1. I love the whole concept of this. Nature is one hideaway that teaches more than in closed spaces. I am already looking forward for my daughter to be spending her pre-school days outdoors in Germany.
    We have morning walks in the woods like in the photo above..It’s just paradise,you hear the birds,that alone is raw music.

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  2. What a fabulous idea!!! I have read about the European forest schools as well and think it would be wonderful to implement here on Canada. Unfortunately it wouldn’t work as well in the part of Ontario I am in.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog! I do think we are very fortunate to have the milder climate here. It does make it easier… except when we get high winds!

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