Why Forest Kindergarten?
The average North American child spends seven hours per day in front of a screen, compared to 30 minutes per day playing outside in a natural setting. Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth and development. Many children are missing a crucial stage of their development- connection to nature. Abundant time in natural settings yields long term benefits in children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. The Playgarden’s Jacksonville Beach Kindergarten programs honor the forest research and provides an exemplary outdoor environmental education experience for our children.
Just like our traditional program at The Playgarden preschool in Jacksonville FL, our Forest Kindergarten program recognizes the benefits of following a predictable rhythm to bring order to our school days. In the forest, we follow a consistent rhythm, rather than the clock. The timing of our activities, snack and story are flexible depending on what Mother Nature brings our way. Her lesson plans may not always match up with mine, but they are always better. Who can resist watching baby frogs make their journey from the pond to the grassy banks? Children can take the time they need to size up the limbs of a tree and decide if it’s a good climbing tree, and then test their skills and climb it!
Our Jacksonville FL parks system has made exploring our barrier island ecosystem easily available to all. Hanna Park and Dutton Island Preserve provide the perfect setting with their pristine Florida scrub hammock, forest, wetland, dunes, and beach all in one location. Did you know that Atlantic Beach Parks and Recreation provides ATV wheel chairs, at no cost to you? Dutton Island offers many nature inspired events on Saturdays, throughout the year.
At Hanna Park, visit our friends at Adventure Kayak, and they can guide you on the best ways to explore the park - hiking, biking and kayaking.
In a time when the connection between humans and the rest of nature is most vulnerable, our Forest Kindergarten gives children daily opportunities to develop a deep positive connection with nature. We take care of what we love. Our natural environment needs our love and protection.
- With Joy, Miss Lynn
"Go Outside! Exercise your wonder muscle!"