How do I enroll my child?
Are the children outside all the time?
At the Ann Arbor Forest School, as long as conditions are safe, we go outside every day. As experienced teachers in outdoor education, Catherine and Tara design 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 Catherine’s home or the Meri Lou Rec Center. We close when the Ann Arbor Public Schools close due to inclement weather.
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. To avoid the deepest cold, we close for the month of January.
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, stay in the shade, or put our feet in the creek to cool down. If the heat or humidity is too high, we take a break inside Catherine’s home or the Meri Lou Rec Center.
What do you do when it rains?
If there is lightning, we go inside Catherine’s home or the Meri Lou Rec Center 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.