It is with much excitement that we announce the opening of Wild Wonders Forest School. We are a new kind of educational opportunity for children aged 3-12 on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Forest Schools are aimed at getting children outside, in all weather and all seasons of the year.
I am pleased to announce our all-outdoor programs are in the works for Summer 2022!
This session will be running a 6 week session, starting in July. Registration will be announced soon! Sign up for our mailing list to keep up with all the latest announcements by emailing Growingwildwonder@gmail.com with "Please add me to the mailing list "in the subject line.
Programs will include:
Nature Kindergarten- Our early learning program for children ages 3-8, Tuesday and Thursday Mornings, 9-12.
Forest Friends - Our school age program for children 6-12 years, on Monday Afternoons 1-4pm.
Forest Families- Our Stay and Play, Family Drop-in program on Wednesday mornings 9-12 for families with children of all ages.
Come Join Us For Some Fresh Air, Art Activities, New Friends And Free Play!
Here is a bit more information about our programs.
Wild Wonders Forest School aims to get children outside year round, in all weather, rain or shine! This is all about creating relationships with children to nature, others, and themselves. It’s a place where children are at the helm of their own learning, as we focus on a play based, emergent curriculum and inquiry based learning models. Children are free to explore through play, as they create and learn at their own pace.
Our programs always include a focus on art making as a reflection tool. We provide a rich variety of natural and art materials for children to create their own work, in their nature journals, as well providing lessons for more focused explorations into different art techniques. These might be activities such as painting, drawing, felting, sewing, knitting or crocheting, weaving, sculpture making and lots more. We also provide opportunities for other reflective practices, to help children deepen learning. The use of sit spots, gratitude circles or breathing exercises are some examples of this type of experience. Participating children will be learning many nature “hard skills”. With adult supervision, they will be experimenting with, tree climbing, fire lighting, shelter making, knot tying, building projects, using tools such as hammers, nails and sometimes knives and saws. Children in the program will also work on a variety of social skills, including participating as part of a group, group decision making, sharing, mindfulness and meditation exercises, yoga and movement activities, emotional regulation, to name a few.
Because we are set in a natural, mature forest there is always an element of risk involved in our program. In fact we at Wild Wonders believe that risk and risky play is an important element in learning! Risk assessment is a life skill that children can only learn with practice. We aim to provide many opportunities for this, within an age appropriate sphere. We encourage activities like running, puddle jumping, mud and snow sliding, tree climbing, tool use, building of forts and other play structures... just to name a few. Children and teachers work together to decide what is a reasonable level of risk for each situation, group and child. We create our community standards together, as a group, to build a basic framework for this. We then work together, in ongoing discussion, about what is safe, depending on each child’s unique competency, the situation at hand, and of course current weather conditions.
Our programs are all designed to complement public, homeschooling and unschooling educations. We believe that outdoor, free play is a prerequisite to all educational experiences, and provides an important foundation for literacy and numeracy skills. We strongly believe our students need the chance to run, jump, dig in the dirt and squish mud between their fingers, before they can be ready to sit still and focus at desks. They need to turn over rocks and search for bugs, and climb trees to strengthen their core, hands and eyes for learning to read and to hold pencils. They need to observe and interact with the Earth and the amazing phenomena all around us, in person, before they are able to understand the science principles behind these events. Perhaps, most importantly, children need to develop foundational relationships with nature, their peers and themselves, as they learn how to interact within this world in compassionate ways. We believe these are important skills, as children navigate the social spheres of their schools and communities, as they grow and learn.
Please stay tuned as we announce more details about registration for Summer 2022 and all of our future sessions!