Cambridge Steiner School established it's highly successful and popular woodland Kindergarten in 2009 as one of the first woodland kindergarten initiatives in England. The children (and teachers) of Elderflower and Rosebud Kindergartens have been spending one or two full mornings a week exploring the magic of the woods and meadows of Fulbourn Fen, and are there right through the seasons, come rain or shine.
Inspiration for the project comes from well-established outdoor kindergartens in Scandinavia, Scotland and Germany. These provide the opportunity for today's increasingly house-bound children to explore their local natural environment, while getting plenty of fresh air and, most importantly, having great fun outdoors. Educational studies have been uncovering the benefits of a closer connection with nature for children, and our experience supports this too.
"There are endless possibilities for movement - the children can run, jump, roll, balance, climb," says Deborah Wilenski, who helped us start our woodland journey, "but it's not just about physical energy. There are moments of quiet fascination when a child stands completely still, utterly absorbed in their own discovery. These moments can spark an interest in the world and an understanding of it that lasts a lifetime."
"Being surrounded by the magic of the woodlands and meadows really inspires the children's imaginative and creative play" adds kindergarten teacher Beate Guertler-Green. "We are already seeing growing confidence, and a strong sense of cooperative community spirit. The children love their time in the woods."
If you are interested in finding out more, please call us on 01223 882727.
Hosted by the Wildlife Trust at Fulbourn Fen Nature Reserve