Children with disabilities have the most to gain!
Nature is of course, good for all children! According, to Chawla (2015)
1. Nature is restorative can have a similar calming effect.
2. Nature is strengthening. Exercising outdoors can be more physically and visually stimulating than doing so indoors.
3. Nature is the perfect classroom. The natural world is ideal for visual learning, focus and concentration and it can enhance memory and comprehension for children with special needs.
4. Nature is a powerful teacher. Nature teaches us patience, compassion, and many life lessons.
5. Nature is one big sensory extravaganza. Hanscom, an occupational Therapist who founded “TimberNook”, a nature therapy program. She sees nature as a form of sensory experience and a prevention method for sensory dysfunction. Learn more timbernook.com
We hope that Children playing in nature, in our program, will over time enjoy:
- abundant multisensory experience (learning to adjust to this slowly, over time.)
- reduced depression, psychological distress, and stress.
- increased energy
- better motor coordination and balance
- become more active (BMI)
- increased ability to focus and concentrate.
- less impulsivity
- increased prosocial behaviors.
- We plan to offer our program with 2 staff to a maximum of 6 children on a Support Plan, in one group, WITH Parent/ guardians in attendance.
- Siblings may attend but are in the supervision of the parent/ guardian.
- What if my child is high needs or very anxious to start new events, what if they cannot attend a group, can we participate?
Response: We understand, we have been there, as educators and as parents! The short answer is yes, but please discuss this with us. We will do our best to help you and can offer 1 on 1 support or 2 staff and 2 children at one time. Perhaps over time your child can visit another session with a group of up to 6 children.
Remember: We require Parent/ guardian to STAY during our session with 2 staff members. The maximum number of children with a Support Plan in one group is six.Why do parents/guardians need to stay?
Basically, for our small group It is part of our insurance, to run a group of six children each, with a support plan and parents/guardians present. In this case with 2 staff members, we could have a maximum of 6 children + parents in attendance for the 2 – 3-hour session of FOREST SCHOOL.OR alternatively BY PRIOR arrangement
We can only have 2 children working with 2 staff. (Without parents) Each staff member is responsible for 1 child, yet for safety outdoors we will always have two staff. Please discuss this possibility with us.
Our initial session will be most likely be 2 hours, with following sessions to be 3 hours.
Depending upon the enrolment needs of the child, we may schedule a meet & greet session with the child and paren. The aim being to gently meet, discuss individual needs and begin to get to know the child. Please contact us if this is something that may suit your child.
1 Chawla, L. (2015). Benefits of Nature Contact for Children. Journal of Planning Literature, 30(4), 433-452. doi:10.1177/0885412215595441 APA
In Britain a “Nurture” program of Forest school can be used to define a group of children with special education needs)
NDIS (2016) The Australian National Disability Insurance scheme Early Years Intervention: children with Autism.