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"Waldkindergarten" - outdoor preschool/wood kindergarten - Page 3

post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizaear View Post
That's the thing. They are cool, really cool. And from what I gather, it probably wouldn't be hard to find enough parents in a given area who would send their kids to this kind of day care. So why isn't it happening?

There may be between 500 and 700 forest kindergartens in Germany, but it is individual parents and friends who got them going. Each forest kindergarten has its own story, starting with one or two interested parents and an idea. Most of them are only half-days with less than 20 kids. But that is still enough to work half-time. Ours is full-days and they would never do it differently.

I would love to dedicate my time and effort to building forest kindergartens, making the general concept more well-know and understood. But for now it's one step at a time.
I feel the same way! I just learned about these from the newest issue of Mothering and I would love to be trained somehow and be able to start one here. People in my area would be very excited about something like this.
post #42 of 50
yet another extremely interested mama here! what gets me though is why are the existing programs like these in the states so darn expensive?! you'd think that since your classroom is in the woods, the costs would be close to nothing. no rent, no utilities, no traditional school supplies. I just don't get it. it has gotten me really motivated though. I think a school like this would do beautifully here in KS!
post #43 of 50

NW Indiana/Chicago Area

OH. MY. GOD!

I am so glad to have found this thread! I live in Northwest Indiana, close to Chicago. I know the Morton Arb.

BUT.

I think that I have a fabulous place for a Forest Kindgergarten here in NW Indiana. I work at a 170 acre eco-community called Tryon Farm. Here is the site:

www.tryonfarm.com

It has wetlands, forest, ponds, meadows, trails, chickens, a 100 year old barn...it would be PERFECT.

I am ACHING to start a school like this. I am currently an environmental educator for the county. So, I am fairly qualified.

If any mamas in this area are interested in working on this, please contact me:

nicolekintzele@hotmail.com

I would really like to do this and have a lot of ideas.
post #44 of 50
I just want to bump this thread as I am still really excited about starting a program like this!!! :

Anyone around NW Indiana or Chicago or SW Michigan that would be interested in getting something like this going?
post #45 of 50

Asheville, NC?

I am working on starting an outdoor preschool in Asheville, nc. I am currently looking for a location. My degree and training is in outdoor education and my work experience is in early childhood education, so I'm really excited about blending the two. Please PM me if anyone living close wants more info or if anyone has any suggestions or just wants to exchange startup ideas. Thanks!
post #46 of 50

Forest Boys/Kids inquiry

Hello. We live in central Indiana and was wondering if you could send me more information about this program. I am also interested in possibly starting a program for my children and any other interested parties in the area, but if there is something already existing...I would rather use that

Thanks!





Quote:
Originally Posted by webjefita View Post
A friend of ours just started a group of Forest Boys/Kids at his family farm in central Indiana. The brochure the facilitator gave us talked about Waldkindergarten, so it seems to be based on that. This is held for 2 hours a week on a working 10-acre farm with woods, creek, animals, gardens. We are pretty excited about it!
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkintzel View Post
I just want to bump this thread as I am still really excited about starting a program like this!!! :

Anyone around NW Indiana or Chicago or SW Michigan that would be interested in getting something like this going?
Do you know of The Field Station in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore? It's certainly not even close to a Waldkindergarten but closer than the typical preschool in a church basement that we have around here. The location is pretty perfect. They're tucked down a dead end road in the national lakeshore and have a sixty year lease on an old farmstead. They've renovated a barn and are renovating the house.

We would *love* to have a true Waldkindergarten available to our children. My husband runs an environmental education center and I work in outdoor programming as well and the fit would be perfect for our family. Our children do attend this program but it's not even close to what we want. The outdoor time they get is super structured and almost feels obligatory rather than the free play time that we feel they need.

(For us, unfortunately Tryon Farm would be way too inconvenient to get to on a daily basis. My husband does know/work with Ed Noonan?)
post #48 of 50
I've been trying to find a school like this and it is challenging! I would even be happy with a school that had a decent outdoor area (with nature, not just blacktop or play structure).

I think the closest thing to what you are describing around here is this preschool in the Los Gatos, California mountains:

http://www.lgsons.com/
post #49 of 50
You guys, my kiddo has been going to one of these schools for the past two weeks, and it has been so incredible! They're outside the whole time in a forest--afterwards, she's all relaxed and it's like she went to a spa! Seriously! She behaves better, she's so nice to be around, she laughs more, there's no after-school overstimulated mess to deal with.

I asked her today what she likes about it, and she said "I like that kids are more gentle to me when we're outside." I got all teared up...

post #50 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thank you all again for all of the tips. There a quite a few "nature based" preschools around, but that certainly is different than a forest kindergarten which is based also on unstructured outdoor play. I find the cost and hours of such preschools also very discouraging.

Rzberrymom: is your daughter at the Cedarsong preschool? I'd love to hear more!

These kinds of programs exist in Germany because parents have taken the initiative over and over again to found preschools that fit their expectations. Imagine: around 500 preschools in a country about as big as Montana and each of them founded by a parent that invested the time and energy to make it happen. Crazy.
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