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Preschool without walls

We are Louisville’s first nature-based preschool, nestled in the beautiful woodlands of Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.  We’ve removed the walls and brought child-led, exploratory learning to where it makes the most impact: outside. Forest schools (also known as “forest kindergartens”) have been well established for over 50 years and are among the fastest growing models in early-childhood education. Why? Because they work. Development and learning are enhanced when children are given the space and confidence to follow their curiosities, engage with peers, stimulate all senses, and test their limits. This fosters a love of learning which will serve them well beyond primary school and into their adult lives.

More Physical Activity

During forest school sessions, both boys and girls are significantly more physically active than they are at a regular school, and their activity is both more intense and more prolonged. Physical activity from outdoor play can in turn contribute to better motor skills.


Less Fidgeting

At forest school, active children are easily able to burn off excess energy, which can be particularly beneficial to children with ADHD. Researchers have also found that nature has a soothing, restorative effect that makes it easier for children to focus in a natural area or after spending time in one. And the more natural the area, the stronger the effect.

More Imaginative

Nature is the perfect setting for dramatic play and abounds with open-ended play materials like pine cones, rocks, sticks, logs, sand and leaves that encourage children’s imaginations to run wild. These creative skills are essential for problem-solving and succeeding at school and life later. Also, natural spaces are not gender-coded, which encourages boys and girls to play together.

Judging Risk

Children who are allowed to take risks in nature, for example by climbing trees, using tools and being near fire, naturally learn how to manage those risks. Risky play is also believed to nurture adventurousness and cultivate resilience and self-reliance, both traits that can help children overcome challenges.

Desire to Protect Nature

Children who spend time in nature have a better understanding of how it works and become emotionally attached to it. Several researchers have showed that this makes them more likely to want to protect nature later in life.

What do parents say?