Nature as playground; beach, forest and bush schools

It might seem a tad business based, contrived or even goal-directed but Forest Schools do seem a healthy and liberating compliment to “normal” schools. They are child-led, so kids don’t become bored and forest schools help develop fine and gross motor skills we are told. Outdoor learning works because multi-sensory experience embeds memories.

The idea that children thrive outdoors is not new as fans of the WASPish The Secret Garden know; health and good manners are restored to a sickly tantrum prone child through the medium of a garden.

This way of playing is a welcome contrast to modern children’s lives which are scheduled controlled and directed with a dose of parental risk-aversion and fear of litigation, says Tim Gill, author of No Fear.

This sounds so liberating it has to be good.

Update: For more on this subject read Sheila Wayman’s feature in the Irish Times and look at Earth Force Education

Further Information
Open fires and pointy sticks: The rise of Scandi-style nurseries in the UK by Alix O’Neill

The Overprotected Kid. A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without  making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution. By Hanna Rosin for The Atlantic

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