Why would anyone want to go to preschool? You go from being a carefree kiddo to cooped up in a classroom playing with blocks and learning to use hand sanitizer all at a pre-set 70 degree environment complete with carpet and fluorescent lighting. In retrospect, it sounds like great conditioning for my office job.
Then I saw this awesome video about a strictly outdoor preschool on Vashon Island in Washington. The kids are outside for the entire class (3 hours) where they explore plants, bugs, and mud. Class is not necessarily every day and parents understand that no matter the weather, the kids will be outside so they have to be properly clothed (e.g. rain boots and rain jackets). The kids explore the forest getting very muddy and their teacher sneaks in short science and math lessons throughout the class. They sing songs, learn social skills, and overcome the physical challenges of being outdoors. The school is “an entirely outdoor education program designed to integrate children with nature and engage them in quality outdoor activities which stimulate their innate curiosity about the natural world.” Besides, what kid doesn’t look totally cute all bundled up and playing in the forest?
I admit, I’d probably be a little hesitant to send a kid off in cold temperatures, but they look so well-adjusted in their weather-appropriate clothes examining leaves and finding their way through all the shrubs and trees. Would you send your kid to a school like this?