Skills to Thrive in Kindergarten and Beyond

At the Ann Arbor Forest School, learning takes place in a dynamic and natural setting: the world around us! We are outside, every day—through the seasons— in a living classroom. From our front-yard permaculture garden, to our outdoor workshop, to the 40-acre park we bike or walk to every day, we are out in the world making connections.

Our curriculum is play-based, and focused on developing kindergarten readiness. We’re committed to strengthening each child’s confidence and skills so that they become agile problem solvers and ready learners.

We keep the class size intentionally small, capped at six children, so that we can provide each child with ample individual attention. We’re able to nurture individual and group learning opportunities all day, in a variety of engaging settings such as the garden, the park, the pool, and the market.

As teachers, we build skills in the following areas:

  • Social /Emotional Development
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Language, Literacy and Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Creative Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies


The Benefits of Nature

Increasingly, studies and data support the Forest School model of learning outdoors. In an era where kids interact with screens more than people and rarely go outside, the Ann Arbor Forest School helps kids build a strong foundation of compassion, curiosity and connectedness.

Research shows that children who play outdoors:

  • demonstrate greater levels of creativity, cooperation, conflict resolution and leadership.
  • are less likely to suffer obesity and less likely to contract diabetes.
  • are less stressed and have an increased attentional capacity
  • tend to be happier than those who are not.

* All data taken from Reconnecting Children and Nature by the Department of Natural Resources.