Forest Schools in Des Moines
The popularity of Forest Schools is on the rise in the United States, and for good reason! Forest School programs support the growth and development of the whole child – connecting them to nature, helping them gain confidence and independence, and strengthening their social skills with peers.
Here are 5 benefits of Forest School
1. Connection with nature
Forest schools provide children with the opportunity to regularly immerse themselves in nature throughout the different seasons. This exposes children to various natural elements, fostering perseverance in our varied climate and building a deep appreciation and connection with the natural world.
2. Physical and mental health benefits
Forest school is all about active play! Students explore their surroundings, test their boundaries, and learn their physical limits. Free play in an unstructured environment stimulates their curiosity and creativity, boosting their cognitive and mental well-being. Exposure to natural green spaces has also been linked to reduced stress levels and improved overall mental health.
3. Enhanced learning and problem-solving skills
Forest schools emphasize hands-on, experiential learning. Children are encouraged to engage in self-directed play, allowing them to develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
4. Increased resilience and independence
Forest schools provide unique opportunities for children to face challenges and take risks in a safe and supportive environment. The freedom to explore and make their own choices fosters independence and self-reliance.
5. Environmental awareness and stewardship
By regularly interacting with nature, forest school participants develop a deep sense of environmental awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s resources. This early exposure can shape their attitudes and behaviors toward the environment in the long run.
“We recommend Forest School without hesitation. Our child gained confidence, both in exploring the outdoors and creating friendships, after attending Muddy Boots. His interest and sense of wonder in the outdoors blossomed, which is a gift that will serve him well his entire life!” (Lindsey – Forest School parent)
Ready to give Forest School a try? Check out these two programs in Des Moines.
Muddy Boots Forest Camp
Muddy Boots Forest Camp offers a half-day morning enrichment program for ages 2.5 to 8 years. Offered Tuesday through Friday at three locations in the metro: Jester Park, Water Works Park, and Walnut Woods. Rolling admissions throughout the school year.
Little Earth Forest School Iowa
Little Earth Forest School Iowa offers an extended-day program from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. for preschool through 5th grade. Offered Monday through Friday in Dallas Center. Flexible part-time or full-time enrollment.