for our youngest forest explorers
Young children have the gift of abundant curiosity and openness. During this very brief and special time in their lives, they are fully in the present with the world around them. In this state of presence, they are ripe for the learning that comes from direct experience, and early experiences carry deep formative power for the rest of their lives. Children’s rapidly developing neural pathways thrive on stimulation from the sense-awakening phenomena of nature — smelling the rich humus layer beneath the conifers, listening to the hypnotic sounds of birds in the brush, tasting seasonal herbs, watching for animal tracks, feeling the cold of snow and the warmth of fire.
Such experiences are necessary for the healthy development of all human beings, because we are all creatures of Earth. It is vitally important that young children are given consistent opportunity to foster their innate connection with the natural world, as this holds positive implications for their physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being now and into the future.
At this program, mentors hold space for children’s natural-born desire to explore and encourage the building of new relationships with the natural world and each other. Together we sing songs, share special finds and artifacts, tell stories, imitate animals, and play to learn. Children are free to be themselves, to do what feels good, and to ask for what they need. They are safe to test the boundaries of their comfort zones as they seek the new experiences and connections with the land that their growing minds and bodies crave.
Ages 4-6 years
Schedule Once per month on Saturdays, 9am-1pm
Dates 3/5, 4/2, 5/7, 6/11, 7/2, 8/20
Location permaculture farm and forest in Rochester, VT (address given upon enrollment)
Our location in Rochester offers diverse forest in which to explore and learn. We will spend all of our time outside, however, there is a small warming cabin with a woodstove that we can use to warm up on cold days as needed.
A sample day may look something like this, but can vary depending on the interests and needs of the children:
9:00am arrival, greetings, lighting of a fire, morning sharing circle
9:30am group game in the forest
10:00am free play
10:30am adventure, lesson, or craft/project
11:30am lunch, storytime and free play
12:15pm group game in the forest
12:45pm closing circle, stories of the day