Hazelwood Outdoor Kindergarten is an urban “forest kindergarten” that celebrates the many benefits of outdoor learning. Forest kindergartens began in Denmark in the 1950s, and are steadily growing in popularity across Europe and the United States. The growth of this movement is fueled by a wealth of research proclaiming the many benefits of free play in nature. Studies note increased cognitive flexibility, use of imagination, emotional capacity, creativity, self discipline and much more.
Perhaps more important are the observations, by parents and teachers alike, of the emotional and spiritual rewards of fostering a deep connection with the natural world. We find that when the children in our care are spending significant time outside daily, they are more harmonious, cooperative and imaginative. They also have improved motor skill development and sensory integration. In short, they are happier and healthier!