Erin Kenny's Blog (25)

The Therapeutic Value of Extended Nature Immersion

I am often asked why it is important for the children to be outdoors for extended periods of time and in all weather. Although I am a proponent of connecting young children with nature for any length of time, I believe that it is important to commit to extended periods of time in nature on a regular and continuing basis. Really, I am recreating my own play memories from my childhood.

The natural world moves at a much slower pace than the human-made world of linear time. Our culture is…

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Added by Erin Kenny on January 11, 2012 at 10:27am — 1 Comment

Early Nature Immersion Experiences are Critical

It is essential that any Forest Kindergarten teacher or Nature Pedagogue have passion for the natural world and be able to convey a sense of awe and wonder to the children. The inherent curiosity that children have about nature must be stimulated and expanded. I believe that all children are born with an affinity for the natural world and want to immerse in it however this natural tendency needs to be stimulated before age five in order for it to be a lifelong connection.

 When humans…

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Added by Erin Kenny on December 22, 2011 at 3:43pm — No Comments

Do Children have an Inherent Right to Play Outdoors?

When I was a child, growing up in the 1960’s, we spent literally hours each day outside, immersed in nature. As soon as we came home from school, we changed out of our school clothes and into our play clothes. We were required to change because our parents knew that when we played outside, we would be coming home dirty. It was expected that children preferred to play outdoors and even on the rare occasion that we resisted, my mom would practically push us outdoors, saying “It’s too nice…

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Added by Erin Kenny on November 29, 2011 at 12:13pm — No Comments

Am I just another American germaphobe?

Although I do not consider myself a germaphobe, it certainly seemed like I was in comparison to the educators that I met while visiting the German waldkindergartens. Where were the teacher's hand sanitizers?  We Americans are obsessed with being very careful not to "spread germs". The European educators stated that they believe it is healthy for children to be exposed to germs since it strengthens their immune systems. I observed the German waldkindergarten children all helping themselves…

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Added by Erin Kenny on October 27, 2011 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Cedarsong Nature School's Forest Kindergarten

I am the founder and Principal of the first U.S. Forest Kindergarten,  a year-round entirely outdoor preschool, run by the non-profit Cedarsong Nature School since 2007. I have just returned from the international conference on Early Childhood and Nature Education in the Netherlands and Germany. While there, I visited and observed many Forest Kindergarten and Nature Preschools. I was also able to discuss with the European participants the cultural differences that would lead to there being…

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Added by Erin Kenny on October 14, 2011 at 4:21pm — No Comments

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