Research has confirmed what The Little School has known for years; opportunities for children to be in nature develops their self-confidence, love of learning, independence, social negotiation skills, motor skills, and cognitive development. In our MFAM and MFPM classrooms, the children spend every Monday in the Presidio – rain or shine! Here the children hike, run, explore, and develop confidence and the competence to negotiate the outdoors with bravery and skill.
Children who have difficulty staying calm and organized indoors often find their happy place in the woods – and children who are most comfortable with indoor play are challenged in new and important ways. Teachers seek to provide our city kids with long stretches of nature play, and balance fast-paced lives with breaths of fresh air.
Being in the Woods weekly allows a beautiful space for the development of the same core tenets of the classroom program: magical thinking, building, preacademics, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Embedded in Woods is a deep awe for the natural world, and the fundamental principle of respecting all living things. Naturally, those tenets translate into lessons applicable to the classroom, and to the broader world. Respecting an insect may mean giving it space, just like respecting a friend may mean giving them space. We try to never hurt living things in Woods, just like we try to never hurt others around us. Beautiful spaces only stay beautiful if we take care of them, both indoors and out.