Updated: Jun 11
By: Monica Wiedel-Lubinski, Director
The pilot year for Notchcliff Forest Preschool in 2019-2020 has been nothing short of incredible...but the COVID-19 pandemic brought us to a screeching halt on March 13, 2020. As we move through this tragic moment in history, we continue to wrap our arms around each other (figuratively) and breathe in the goodness that nature offers each day. Our weekly calls with the children bring happiness, and assembling the nature kits for you is also a welcome project each week.
We can't sugarcoat it. Loss and greif are part of this story. But try as we must, there is also a silver lining. Time spent quarantined at home gives us space for creativity, play, and exploration with our children, especially during the beautiful onset of spring. We've dreamt of how wonderful it would be if only there were more time at home with family, if only we didn't have so much running around to do. This isn't how any of us hoped it would happen, but we can try to savor the paused pace of life right now. We can try to think of the time as both a warning and a gift, a reminder of what is truly precious.
You already know that nature-based learning is ripe benefits. Sunshine, soil, fresh air, and active play are good for body and soul. We need comfort and peace now more than ever, and stress relief is a yet another benefit that nature can provide.
Nature and forest preschools like Notchcliff Forest Preschool can help our children process trauma through healthy outdoor play. Although we can't gather in person now, we are grateful for the peace we find in the natural world.
Here is a related study to consider:
Beyer, K. (2015.) More than a Pretty Place: Assessing the Impact of Environmental Education on Children’s Knowledge and Attitudes about Outdoor Play in Nature. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (12)2.