Fairy camp is different from other outdoor learning experiences in two ways. First, Fairy Camp takes place in the same setting on a regular basis over an extended period of time. This gives students the opportunity to learn a great deal about and become comfortable with the area, and to develop a lasting connection with nature.
Second, while there are some structured elements, the Fairy Camp curriculum is largely emergent, child-directed, and play-based. We follow the ethos of Forest School allows learners the time and space to develop their interests, skills, and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences. At Fairy Camp, children are offered the freedom to explore, play, build, create, imagine, and use their senses to experience the outdoor environment and engage with one another. Sustainability is woven into the culture of the classroom, and as nature becomes the third teacher, sustainability becomes the foundation on which both children and teachers stand.
Our vision is to offer children the opportunity to play in an environment that not only prepares them for social success, but for a future in which environmental awareness is important. We learn about the world outside their doors. From learning about edible herbs to exploring nature, every day includes a new lesson and a new challenge. As children rise to meet these challenges, their experiences fuel self-esteem and social, and ethical development.
We believe that natural environments play an essential role in children’s early learning. When given a chance to encounter the world up close, children develop creativity, resourcefulness, delight and a sense of empowerment in their bodies.
Our day is set up to create conditions which allow the children to ask questions and find answers through playful exploration. It is our hope that, by letting children develop a relationship with the earth, we’ll help them be mindful of our plant’s health throughout their lives.
Why Little Nest
During the program term children spend a majority of their time investigating their world through play. We integrate learning life skills such as gardening, natural remedy making, and wild crafting into the children’s day to day experience. Children learn through observation, imitation and opportunities to take care of each other and the classroom. Our intention is to integrate a blend of Forest School philosophy with sustainability education and place based skills , creating an opportunity for learning that will make lessons more meaningful.
Our teaching style is inspired by European Forest School philosophy, with a blend of Reggio/ Waldorf and place-based education. Our place based approach to education is based on a belief that children are better off becoming grounded in the ecology and the culture of their surrounding environment as the first steps in learning about their world. This is a hands-on, child-led approach to teaching.
We teach from the belief that children’s curiosity doesn't need to diminish over time. Our goal is to create a strong platform for life long learning . The natural environment invites self-initiated, and playful exploration. As children investigate, their experiences fuel emotional, social, intellectual, physical, and ethical development.
Children’s brains are designed to learn. When entranced by their own work and own discoveries, within the natural world, learning pathways are refined and strengthened. Children’s minds bloom.
We view each child as an active participant within our day. We regard children as young members of our community. Our teaching approach highlights children’s competence, their interests, their intelligence, and their budding abilities. Adult assistance is gradually limited as children grow, and learn to cope with the challenges of self care ( tying shoes, putting on jackets), dispute management, and manipulation of their world to achieve their goals. Our emphasis lies in offering children experiences that support their natural relationship to the here and now. This in turn contributes to strong relationships being built between children’s own bodies, their minds and souls, and the body of the earth.