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Benefits of Forest School

Updated: Dec 9, 2021


As outdoor programs gain popularity, more and more research on forest schools is to be found. The areas of benefit identified by a number of studies reflect the outcomes which time and again are associated with Forest School:

  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Improved social skills

  • The development of language and communication skills

  • Improved physical motor skills

  • Strengthens immune system

  • Improved motivation

  • Improved mental health

  • Similarly prepared for elementary school

Additionally,

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of the environment


Being in nature fosters a relationship with the natural world. Children develop a love for the natural world and an understanding for how to care for our planet Earth.


“Schools with natural play spaces and nature learning areas appear to help children do better academically,” says Richard Louv, cofounder of the Children and Nature Network.

Studies show that when students engage with the ever-changing natural world in their learning environment, they demonstrate better concentration, less stress, higher rates of physical activity, increased engagement and improved self-discipline.



One Finnish study states that spending just 20 minutes in nature helps people feel restored and ready to learn. Children who spend more time in nature tend to be calmer, more attentive and happier.



Here at Emerald Heart Forest School, parents and teachers witness benefits--daily and over time.





References

Bell, J. F., Wilson, J. S., Liu, G. C. (2008). Neighborhood Greenness and 2-Year Changes in Body Mass Index of Children and Youth. American

Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35 (6): 547–553.

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences (2014) https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/82035505.pdf

Bentsen, P., Andkjær, S., & Ejbye-Ernst, N. (2009). Friluftsliv: natur, samfund

og pædagogik. Munksgård Danmark.

Blair, D. (2009). The Child in the Garden: An Evaluative Review of the Benefits

of School Gardening. The Journal of Environmental Education, 40 (2), 15-38.

Bolehovská, A. (2013). Využití lesního ekosystému v přírodovědném vzdělávání v

mateřské škole. České Budějovice: Jihočeská univerzita.

Burdette, H. L., Whitaker, R. C. (2005). Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children. Looking Beyond Fitness and Fatness to Attention, Affiliation,

and Affect. Archive of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 159 (January).

Rantala, O., Puhakka, R., (2019). Engaging with nature: Nature affords well-being for families and young people in Finland. Children's Geographies.

https://www.forestschooltraining.co.uk/forest-school/the-benefits/

https://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/pre_pdf_files/05_33_06.pdf

https://www.forestschooltraining.co.uk/forest-school/research/

https://www.rei.com/blog/news/bringing-forest-preschools-mainstream



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