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UNDERSTANDING OUTDOOR EDUCATION

In 1840, Friedrich Froebel created the word and concept, Kindergarten. The name Kindergarten signifies both a garden for children, a location where they can observe and interact with nature, and also a garden of children, where they themselves can grow and develop in freedom from arbitrary imperatives.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOREST KINDERGARTEN AND NATURE BASED PROGRAMS?

Forest kindergartens have been defined as educational programs which provide daily outdoor experiences for children 3-6 year olds, with limited or no indoor facilities. Children in such programs tend to spend 70-100% of their time outdoors, in a nature immersion experience, in which the curriculum emerges from the daily activities (Fritz, Smyrni, & Roberts, 2014; Kenny, 2013; Moore, 2014; Sobel, 2014; Warden, 2012).

Nature-based preschools have typically been defined as a licensed early childhood program for 3-5 year olds, with 25-50% of the class day held outside each day, nature as the driving theme of the curriculum, and nature being infused into the indoor spaces (Bailie, 2010; Green Hearts, 2014; Larimore, 2011a, 2011b; Moore, 2014).

 
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RESOURCES

TANGIBLE RESOURCES

Outdoor education:

Coyotes Guide to Connecting with Nature — John Young

Last Child in the Woods — Richard Louv

Top shelf parenting books:

Positive Discipline for the Preschool Years — Jane Nelsen

All Joy and No Fun, the Paradox of Modern Parenting — Jennifer Senior

You are your Child’s First Teacher — Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Magical Child — Joseph Chilton Pearce

Brain rules for Baby — John Medina

Smart Moves — Carla Hannaford