Forest and Nature School Programs

Barrie Forest Kindergarten is a place where children, adults and families find their wildhood.

At Barrie Forest Kindergarten we believe in connecting children with their wildhood is important. We believe children not only learn through play but learn to work with others, find their sense of place in the natural world, to problem solve and discover and pursue interests through play. At Barrie Forest Kindergarten children we support this learning and exploration through a safe outdoor yes environment, materials and adult facilitation only when needed.

Though we do not pre plan learning activities or script the day we do carefully consider how to best use the environment to support and show trust in their learning and process through play.  We have several camps that have been chosen for their unique ability to encourage the children in exploring their wildhood.  We bring an ever evolving forest kindergarten kit that is tailored to their interests and needs and the structure to allow the children to make decisions about where they are, how they want to connect and how they want to pursue their interests in their play.

Forest Kindergarten Taster

This is a one day a week program which is an introductory program for children 3-5 who thrive in an outdoor setting.  In this program children are supported in their their transitions to more complex play, emerging cognitive skills for inquiry learning, personal independence skills and their emerging social skills to learn to work with each other. We believe this best way to accomplish this learning is through their play and through facilitation only when needed. There will be one spot open to a toddler under the age of 3. We also believe in small groups so teachers can effectively use child centred learning approaches and focus on social and communication skills between children.

Dates

March 28-May 23 2018

September 10-November 5 2018

Forest Kindergarten/Forest School

Forest kindergarten is for children 4-7 who thrive in an outdoor setting and with experiential learning. The Anishinabe believe that the first 7 years of a child’s life is “the good life” so we are open to any child up to 7. The children take part in a huge variety of activities – making shelters, tracking, our forest theatre, mud playdough and mud/plant “cooking and baking”, river walks and more.  We place special emphasis on child led inquiry learning.

Forest kindergartens and Forest Schools believe that the children in their care need to spend the preschool  and school years learning best within a child centred approach to learning that is place based so that it focuses on their connection with others and with their environment. Place based education is rooted in heritage, environment and the culture of a place. (from COEO). We are also dedicated to building a relationship with the cultural heritage and culture of Simcoe country which is on traditional Anishinaabe territory. We are fortunate to be be on land that is managed and stewarded by Beausoleil First Nations and have a relationship with them to provide place based culture to the families in our Forest Kindergarten and Nature School Programs.

We also believe that children learn best from each other in a mixed age group, the younger children learn from their older role models and older children meet the expectations of the younger children and have opportunities to be responsible and use their knowledge.

Dates

September 11- December December 13 2017

February 12 – May 23 2018

September 10 – December 12 2018

Nurture Through Nature Playgroup

This playgroup is for babies (to age 3) and their caregiver. The day starts with a hike for caregivers who can wear or stroller their little one to main camp. We will then explore the connection very young children have with nature and strengthen our connection not only to the natural world through them but also strengthen our connection with them.

Inspired by Clair Warden’s nurture through nature child directed learning program the forest school teacher will facilitate learning following the children’s lead to explore our natural world. Every week we have special natural items for the toddlers to explore and play with.

Dates

October 5-November 23 2017

March 30-May 18 2018

September 27-November 15 2018

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