The Wild Woods: A Forest Kindergarten is an exciting new venture coming to Jewart’s Gymnastics. This will be a new style of early childhood education program to our area that has enormous benefits to children. Forest Kindergartens have been popular in Europe and have been spreading to the United States, primarily in the Northwest and New England areas. Our forest kindergarten educational philosophy will be based of concepts shared with us from the Cedarsong Nature School in Vashon, Washington.
You may be asking yourself, “What in the world is a forest kindergarten?” Well, the appropriate way of answering this question is by telling you what The Wild Woods is not. First, The Wild Woods will not be inside. By having the five acres of woods behind the ropes course as our classroom the children will be able to explore every day and learn while doing so, no matter what the weather. They will be able to watch the subtle changes that occur in nature throughout the seasons, from the first buds of spring, to the lush tree top canopy of summer, to the last leaves of fall falling to the ground, to the stillness of winter, and all over again. As adults, we take this natural activity for granted, but to a child these are magical transitions that create a sense of awe and wonder. The children will also have a chance to observe those many subtle changes that occur from one day to another. And through the use of leading questions by the teachers, the children are able to hone their understanding of the scientific process. Each day’s exciting adventure will begin as we cross the bridge by the retaining pond and descend into our classroom, making observations all along the way.