Making sure your child is dressed appropriately for outdoor play is essential. Dress your child in clothes they can get messy in and bring a change of clothes for after class. Importantly, keep a positive attitude about cold or rainy days because some of the most fun is had in this type of weather!
In fall dress your child in long pants and rain boots, sneakers or waterproof shoes. On wet and/or rainy days please dress children in a waterproof jacket and pants.
In winter wear a base layer of two-piece silk or wool long johns, a second layer of fleece pants and fleece sweater, and a third layer of waterproof pants/ snow pants and a winter jacket. In the rain a full rain suit goes over everything. Finally, wear warm waterproof boots with wool socks, a fleece hat and neck warmer, and waterproof mittens or gloves. This layering method will keep your child nice and warm in most winter weather!
In spring dress your child in long pants and rain boots, waterproof sneakers or water shoes. On wet and/or rainy days please dress children in a waterproof jacket and pants.
Recommended brands are Bogs, Kamik, Columbia, Oakiwear, Gordini, CeLaVi and REI brand. We love a local shop called Biddle and Bop. Check them out!
We have a rule of kindness – toward each other and toward nature. As environmental stewards, we are in the forest to learn about and protect the land.
We also have important safety rules. Our number one rule when we are in the forest is our children must “always see an adult and an adult see me.” Others include only climbing to 2x a child’s height, only throwing light objects, and large sticks for large places.
We have a zero tolerance policy for hitting, grabbing, pushing and name-calling.
South Mountain Nature School’s Forest School classes take place entirely outdoors, and there are risks, which naturally occur when outside.
We will identify poison ivy and avoid it whenever possible. If you do come in contact with it, wash it with cool, soapy water as soon as possible. More info here.
There are deer ticks and dog ticks in SMR. It is recommended that you check yourself and your child for ticks after every Forest School class. If a tick is found, remove it as soon as possible. More info here.
We will review risks of play at the beginning of class, but it is important to supervise your child during class.
Forest Schools and Forest Kindergartens (preschools) are popping up all over the US. It’s a growing movement in early childhood education that many educators, parents and researchers firmly believe in.
Click on the articles below to read more about the latest research and press.