Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nature School~ Easter Hike and Benefits of Outdoor Education

Forest School Nature Hike 

 As Jack grows up, it becomes more and more important to spend time exploring the outdoors. We spent Easter Sunday hiking at a local riparian forest. Goals included:
  • free exploration
  • immersion in nature
  • multi-sensory exploration (listening to birds, touching plants and sticks, smelling the fresh air, observing our surrounding, etc.)
  • natural movement and exercise
  • nature therapy
  • nature education

 We traveled without a curriculum,  plan, or  specific objective.

We simply explored.

 Jack loved the bridges.

We heard many woodpeckers chiseling away in the treetops.

 We identified poison ivy (thanks to a helpful park sign) and learned to avoid it.

We used a plant identification app on my phone to identify local flora.

Below is a video of our Easter hike:


If you've been thinking of spending more time in nature, here are some wonderful benefits (from Wikipedia- Forest School (learning style):

  • increased confidence and independence
  • increased self-esteem
  • abstract learning of mathematics and communication
  • reduced stress
  • improved concentration
Other benefits include:

  • learning to overcome adversity
  • increased problem-solving skills
  • enhances teamwork and group solidarity
  • develops leadership skills
  • new understanding of natural environments