Are the children outside all the time?

At the Ann Arbor Forest School, as long as conditions are safe, we go outside every day. Though we are outside most of the day, children nap indoors. As an experienced teacher in outdoor education, Tara designs the day’s activities to manage the well-being of every child—and makes sure parents know how to properly dress their children for the weather. If necessary, we will move our activities inside Tara’s home.

How do we keep warm in winter?

We wear lots of layers of wool, fleece, synthetics, and down. These fabrics keep us warm and dry even if a child manages to get wet. We help you find the right gear and some items are available for rent. To keep our bodies warm, we keep active by taking walks and sledding. We stay well-hydrated to help our bodies regulate our temperatures.

What if it's really hot out?

To manage the heat in summer, we make sure that we are prepared with sun hats, sun shirts, loose light-colored cotton clothing, and closed-toe sandals. We hydrate all day long, stay in the shade, turn on the sprinkler, or go to the tot splash at Buhr Park Pool to cool down. If the heat or humidity is too high, we take a break to play inside.

What do you do when it rains?

If there is lightning, we go indoors and wait 30 minutes after the last thunder/lighting before resuming activities outside.
If there is no lightning, we enjoy the rain and keep dry with proper gear. We wear rain coats, rain pants or waders, rain gloves, and rain boots. The rain provides us new opportunities to learn. For example, we might go on a puddle walk to discover the water cycle firsthand. The children hypothesize where in the park we will find the most puddles. We play in the puddles and follow the water as it flows, making the connection to Mallett’s Creek.

What is the student-to-teacher ratio?

The student-to-teacher ratio is never higher than 6:1.

Can my child attend kindergarten here?

Yes! Your child can join us (or stay with us) for kindergarten.