Free-Forest-School

LETTING KIDS BE KIDS, OUTDOORS.

Fostering the next generation of environmental stewards, Free Forest School opens the door to nature play and emergent learning for thousands of children by empowering parents and caregivers to provide it themselves.

We believe

Childhood can be simple and full of wonder.

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Children are innately curious and driven to learn.

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Children who play in nature will grow up to love and defend it.

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Parents and caregivers have a vital role as protectors of children’s play.

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Children of all abilities learn and thrive in nature.

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Children gain pride and independence when trusted and empowered.

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Nature-based education has caught on in the United States, yet forest schools are still cost-prohibitive and inaccessible for many families.

We believe all children deserve access to unstructured play and exploration in nature. Attending a pricey school isn’t the only way to get that experience.

An interview with the founder

An interview with the founder

The role of parents at Free Forest School is very intentional. We use a “lightest touch” approach: the idea that, if you do need to intervene, you do so in the lightest way you can, to preserve the children’s autonomy – their imagination, their interactions with one another – rather than adding an adult agenda.

– Anna Sharratt in an October 2017 interview by Dr. Marti Erickson on Mom Enough

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PARENTS & CAREGIVERS

Free Forest School brings nature-based emergent learning opportunities to thousands of young children around the world by empowering parents and caregivers to provide it themselves.

IN THE SCHOOLS

Free Forest School supports parents and teachers in integrating outdoor emergent learning opportunities with traditional classroom instruction.

Search groups

Search groups

Find a Free Forest School group in your area – join for free and get out exploring!

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Start a Group

Start a Group

Find out what it takes to start a new group or bring emergent learning to your curriculum.

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Keep in touch

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter, Seedlings, and access gear discounts from our sponsors.

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Donate

Donate

Donate to the 2017 fund drive and receive a thank-you gift from Free Forest School.

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Check out the Free Forest School blog!

Beyond Babywearing: Why Newborns Belong at Free Forest School

Published on February 16, 2018

By Katherine Wilcox Dudley There may be a sentiment that children will get more out…

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Splashing and Singing: What can children learn from playing in the rain?

Published on February 8, 2018

By Sheila Williams-Ridge, member of the FFS Startup Council Editor’s Note: Weather is often a…

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RIE Principles for Parenting in Nature

Published on January 30, 2018

Editor’s Note: FFS doesn’t promote any particular parenting philosophy or method, the RIE parenting method echoes so…

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