A Nature Preschool Enhances Early Childhood Brain Development

A Nature Preschool Enhances Early Childhood Brain Development

An exciting nature-based curriculum for preschoolers developed at the Schlitz Center in Wisconsin is spreading to classrooms across the country--and even to Sesame Street.

By Susan Cosier
Published: January-February 2012

Even before the school opened there was a waiting list for the following year; for the next class, the list is 30 students long. "The nature preschool is really important because it's about planting the seeds to grow tomorrow's conservationists," says center director Nathan Smallwood, whose four-year-old son, Wolf, attends the preschool. When Smallwood first took the helm last year, his son was tearing up everything in sight. After about a week in the school, the two went on a walk on the grounds and Wolf ran ahead. Smallwood was shocked when his son turned around and said, "Papa, be careful not to step on the wildflowers."

"It stopped me in my tracks," he says. "I have the advantage of seeing the experiences of this as not just a director but as a parent."

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Susan Cosier

Susan Cosier is former senior editor at Audubon magazine. Follow her on Twitter @susancosier.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

This is brilliant, kids are

This is brilliant, kids are using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet.

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