We believe in Free Play because:
- Children are competent beings.
- Children begin building connections and passions when they are very young.
- Children deserve play environments that connect them deeply with nature.
- Children require frequent opportunities to play freely in order to develop in healthy ways.
- Children seek out and benefit from environments that allow them to explore risk in appropriate ways.
- Children have an affinity for natural materials over plastics and materials of technology.
We believe that by supporting free play in nature we are nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards.
Free Play Days
Free Play days provide an immediate opportunity in the community for children to be directly engaged in nature-based free play environments and to begin reaping its benefits. Research has indicated that even small doses of immersion in nature and free play provide marked advantages for children.
We have discovered that while some school administrators, teachers and organizations may be familiar and aligned with the science behind new play-based learning strategies, the parents and families they serve might not be.
Free play days are one way to increase awareness among parents, who make decisions about where and how to let children play. By hosting free play days at Bernheim and in the community, parents see first-hand how children respond to free play and engage with play environments.
Free Play Days
- Model best practices for childcare centers and families
- Support teacher training through hands-on experience and observation
- Increase community understanding and support for the value of free play in the outdoors