Germany Has 700 "Forest Kindergartens"

It was Friedrich Frobel, the German educator, who began the first kindergarten, or "children's gardens," in 1837. This radical form of education at the time included observing and nurturing plants in the natural world. Since the 1990s, parents and educators in Germany have established 700 kindergartens using somewhat the same principle. In a Waldkindergarten program, or "forest kindergarten," children ages 3 to 6 spend their entire day in an outdoor environment.

The idea of an outdoor classroom for young children has worked well in many countries, including Denmark, Scotland, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Austria. Academic studies of this type of education are still in their infancy. However, you can visit our website to download some current research on the relationship between young children and nature: