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Olmsted Woods - A "Forest Kindergarten" For Beauvoir Tots

Olmsted Woods - A "Forest Kindergarten" For Beauvoir Tots

During the fall, Beauvoir kindergarten classes took weekly visits to Olmsted Wood to make observational drawings and to take photographs. These observations were the basis for developing questions that the students would then try to answer through research. They went further by transforming their classroom play areas into models of the woods and then chose to undertake further in-depth study of various aspects of the Woods including trees, animal homes, structural pieces (like drainage and pipes), and the amphitheater. All of this study "enabled the students to develop an even greater connection to Olmsted Woods and a heightened sense of responsibility for the natural world," according to Beauvoir kindergarten teacher Susan Stossel. 

More recently, as part of Beauvoir's Global Studies program, the kindergarteners studied the alpine and forest regions of Europe, and they became especially fascinated by the forest kindergartens of Germany and Switzerland. Olmsted Woods served as their very own "kindergarten" or children's garden inspired by German educator Friedrich Froebel by performing, in the Amphitheater, scenes from Grimm's fairy tales they had read and by building sculptures of natural materials. Muddy and tired by the end, the children proclaimed it the best day ever!

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