As a child I was outdoor, in the arms of my grandmother, and I listened to stories that told of children, of rivers, of simple games, trees, wreaths, butterflies … They were real stories, stories of a childhood living outdoor, in the great theater of nature …
Once outdoor education was everyday life: we went out to discover the world. Today we tend to spend more time indoors, “inside”, at safe.
There is a beautiful page, written by Danilo Casertano in the book School in the woods, that struck me and made me think a lot.
Here it is:
“We spend our lives in boxes: from the delivery room to the hospital room, from the house to the car, from the car to the classroom or the office, the gym, the grocery store or the mall, always surrounded by walls, and then blissfully in the bedroom to contemplate the magic boxes or ceiling.
It is also true that the wall educates, it is very strict, austere, has the sad clothes, even when it is not all dirty and full of cracks. The windows are too high, the sky and the air dangers to watch at a safe distance. It makes you want to escape, but the real purpose is to wipe out your longing for freedom.
Who thought that a concrete block could be a place to grow? Perhaps those who thought that it was necessary to get used to prison, the resignation to the mental and physical closure. Nature has the nests or dens, which are warm and welcoming and then off, you can fly, you explore, live.
When the wall takes a break and want to give you a taste of green, it entrusted you to his colleague fence, very useful to the adult who wants to relax, but always through a lack of confidence. In the Kindergarten in the woods we do not need physical boundaries. We have our presence, our knowledge of children and places. There’s an invisible thread that unites children, adults, the trees and the land that was enough to give the possibility to exist ”
Outdoor is a world to explore. Outdoor we learn life.
READ ALSO: HOW TO TEACH KIDS ECOLOGICAL AWARENESS
When we describe nature, it does not refer exclusively to the natural environment, and then the trees, the mountains, the rivers, the animals; it is something more; It is an intimate and deep world. The nature around us we speak to us, of who we are, what we want to become, of our dreams.
Staying in contact with nature brings many benefits. It makes us feel alive. All our senses are stimulated. Our eyes are filled with a thousand of colors, we feel the scent of the flowers, the rain, hear the birds singing, crickets, butterflies flying, the rustle of the wind, the patter of rain, the sound of water the stream. We can touch the soft meadows, sting with thorns, embrace wrinkled trees, feel they are colored silky petals of flowers…
A nice place to find “peace of mind” and find the balance between mind and body.
We wonder about the little things. The wonder is not an easy feeling to try. It is a state of the rare and precious soul. The wonder is surprised us, it makes us ask questions. It is the principle of knowledge.
Also outdoor we can run, jump, roll, walk, climb. Learning from the smallest of our body movement.
Outdoors we learn to respect and take care of nature. And It’s better for nature’s sake.
In Italy, recently, new kind of schools opened: the School in the woods. In particular, in September 2014 The Kindergarten in the woods opened in Ostia Antica.
In the kindergarten entrance there is a beautiful sign that says:
In this little piece of the world IS NOT FORBIDDEN
- Play with the ball;
- jump on the bales;
- climbing trees;
- laugh out loud;
- get dirty;
- play with water;
- scream of joy;
- go in puddles.
Children are free. They are cheerful. They excited looking at nature.
The purpose of the kindergarten is to teach in the woods to grow up happy children, through the proposal of rich experiences that are able to leave a positive mark on their lives. This is the basis for the teachers to ensure that children a successful future.
Isn’t it nice to grow up in schools where kids learn from the experience? Isn’t it nice to grow up in the school where you can jump over puddles? Tree Hugging? Count the stones? Playing in the fruit market? Reading outdoors? Revise verbs watching the sun? Drawing on wet earth?