Instructor: Kimberly Sabiston
Grade Levels: For rising Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 students
Forest Kindergarten presents a unique nature-based early childhood education program, offered currently worldwide. The class introduces rising Senior Kindergarten and Grade 1 students to nature’s classroom and helps them learn to connect with nature. With a daily rhythm (or schedule), the class incorporates nature-based exploration, singing, authentic imaginary play, crafting, storytelling and building a variety of socialization skills. With the adjacent canyon serving as our classroom, students immerse themselves in a whole-body sensory experience that gives them a deeper connection with hands-on learning within nature.
Each day, students should wear clothes that can get dirty and bring a small hiking backpack with a clip in front with a change of clothes in a plastic bag, a reusable water bottle, wear closed-toed shoes, a hat, and already applied sunscreen (Optional bug spray).
8:30-9:30 am: Canyon Exploration; Sign Up for Daily Jobs
Students make their way into the nearby canyon where the sky, trees and the living Earth transform into our outdoor classroom. Students learn about flora and fauna, while exploring their local habitat. Daily, the canyon offers a host of new adventures to spark the natural curiosity and imagination of each child. Students choose jobs for the day, which include helping with hand washing, as well as setting up for our morning snack and teatime picnic.
9:30-10 am: Gratitude Circle; Circle Time Gathering
Gathered, students participate in a “gratitude circle.” Introductions and announcements for the morning follow with circle time where students join in a group song, beginning with “Good Morning, Dear Earth.”
10-10:15 am: Hand Washing + Daily Jobs Completed
Assigned tasks for students include dispensing soap and handing out towels to dry hands. Each student will be asked to hang his or her towel on a branch to dry. A discussion of proper outside hygiene and wellness takes place.
10:15-10:45 am: Teatime; Morning Snack; Group Storytelling
After washing hands, students gather on blankets for teatime, storytelling and snack. Once everyone is gathered on blankets, teatime songs and storytelling follows. Storytelling helps students practice listening, as well as building their imagination and language skills. Students who have signed up to help with teatime preparation and snack-related jobs spring into action. Students practice proper teatime etiquette, as well.
10:45-11:45 am: Nature-Based Craft Activities
These activities are child-driven and rotate daily or weekly, depending on the maturity and curiosity levels of the enrolled students. Activities incorporate hands-on work that focuses on acquiring and strengthening fine motor skills. The development of a variety of social skills will also be emphasized, including sharing, taking turns, building teamwork, and enhancing communication.
11:45-12 pm: Closing Circle Time
We say goodbye to the canyon for the day, review the morning’s activities and preview the next day’s program. Closing Circle includes a song, then we grab our backpacks and head out of the canyon to enjoy lunch in the cafeteria.
12– 12:30 pm: Lunch in the Parker cafeteria.
Session I, (3 Week Course)
June 24 -28
Session II, (3 Week Course)
July 15 -19
July 29-August 2
Times: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Early Bird Price Through March 31: $810/3 Week Course
Regular Price, Beginning April 1: $900/3 Week Course