Woodcock launches Little Forest Folk program

With the premise that children are never too young to learn about the world around them, Woodcock Nature Center will launch a forest school program for preschoolers this fall. Little Forest Folk, will offer a safe, supportive learning environment for children ages 3 ½ to 5 in a format inspired by the “forest kindergarten” model that is popular in places like Germany and Finland.

“The children of Little Forest Folk will have a unique opportunity to learn through discovery, play and their natural world,” program creator Jennifer Bradshaw said in a press release.

The program will take place entirely outdoors between September and June (with a few exceptions for extreme weather) and allow the children’s interests and curiosity to lead daily activities and inform their reading, writing and math lessons. Children will make use of an outdoor classroom and be encouraged to explore the 149 acres of the Woodcock Nature Center preserve, which includes forests, swamps, streams and a pond. Daily practices may include hiking, building, craft-making, journaling, cooking by fire and using tools, all while learning about local ecology, geology, plants and wildlife.

In its pilot school year, Woodcock plans to accept eight participants. The program, led by program creator and Woodcock educator Jennifer Bradshaw with one additional support educator, will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 9 to 12:30.

Applications for enrollment are being accepted now through April 19. Visit woodcocknaturecenter.org for information and to apply.