Our team had so much fun at the Open House for the Muddy Boots Play Group, a model forest kindergarten offered by the Children at Play Network at Bernheim. Young children had a blast playing under trees, climbing dirt piles, listening to forest stories, balancing across fallen logs and “cooking up” leaves and sticks in pots from the mud kitchen. While the children played, parents had the opportunity to learn more about forest kindergarten, tour the cabin at the Woodland Pavilion and the forest site where the play group is held, and meet our Muddy Boots Facilitator Debbie Mclachlan.
Interest was strong, particularly among parents who want early childhood learning experiences for their children that are play-based and rooted in nature. That is the purpose of the Muddy Boots Play Group, a new monthly program at Bernheim for children ages 3-6 that offers a three-hour woodland adventure of child-directed, nature-based play, all of which contribute to a child’s healthy development.
Regular forest experiences and unstructured time in nature can have dramatic and profound influences on child development – physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. The Children at Play Network is offering Muddy Boots as a pilot program to model forest kindergarten, which originated in Europe. Forest kindergarten, or forest school, immerses children in nature and free play where teachers become facilitators in inquiry-based, child-led flow learning, which promotes imagination, coordination, cooperation and creativity.
Muddy Boots is designed to provide a safe space for children to play, create, discover and learn in a natural environment. We would love to include your child in the Muddy Boots Play Group, our forest adventure at Bernheim.
The Muddy Boots Play Group
Age Range: This program is open to children ages 3- 6 years old.
Play Group Dates and Times: Muddy Boots meets monthly from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. with an optional extended (supervised) free play session from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. on the Children’s Play Garden.
Muddy Boots will meet on the following dates:
● September 23, 2017
● October 28, 2017
● November 18, 2017
● December 16, 2017
Location: Muddy Boots meets at the Woodland Pavilion and the forest across the street. Parents will drop off and pick up children at the Pavilion.
Lunch: Parents will send their child with a simple, sack lunch.
Dress: Children will be dressed to play in all weather, with raincoats, boots, hats and gloves as needed.
The cost is $20 for Non-Members and $15 for Members (contact us if this prohibits your participation). Space may be reserved by calling 502-955-8512. Reservations and payment are due by 12 p.m. on the day before the program. Space is limited to 20 children.
For more information contact: Melissa Rue, Coordinator, Children at Play Network
firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-215-7122