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February 2016

In his book Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv writes about his concern that as we raise a generation of children so connected to electronics, they are losing their connection to nature. A connection to nature is deeply important to all of us. Nature provides the opportunity to calm our senses and experience the world in its purest form.

This year, our fours classes have committed to become Forest Explorers and spend long periods of time in nature. The children walk to the park, enter the forest, and then the joy begins.

With a little coaching and encouragement from their teachers they are climbing trees, finding treasures under rocks, floating twigs in the stream and recording their observations about the trees and the earth.

Each time they go back, there are new things to discover and new areas to explore. We watch as children take risks and take on new challenges, and we listen as they create elaborate plans with their friends to uncover the wonder of the world around them.

The children looked carefully at holes in trees and wondered who might live in there.
The children looked carefully at holes in trees and wondered who might live in there.

Students in one class worked together to build a teepee to eat their snack and protect them from the rain.

A few four year olds recorded their observations of different trees.

Teamwork and collaboration were necessary to carry a big heavy log and use it as a bench to sit on.

In our classrooms we have been removing any toys that do the work for the children. We don’t have books that make noise or trucks that light up. We have removed anything with commercial brands. Our goal is for the children’s play to be mostly from the children and not so much from the toys.

In the forest, we have taken all of the manufactured distractions out of the play and we are left with the world in its purest form – exactly as G-d created it for us.

Our Forest Explorers are learning to appreciate nature and see the incredible beauty of the Earth – exactly as G-d created it for us.

May 29,2020 /  6 Sivan 5780