A Nature Preschool Enhances Early Childhood Brain Development
An exciting nature-based curriculum for preschoolers developed at the Schlitz Center in Wisconsin is spreading to classrooms across the country--and even to Sesame Street.
Even before the school opened there was a waiting list for the following year; for the next class, the list is 30 students long. "The nature preschool is really important because it's about planting the seeds to grow tomorrow's conservationists," says center director Nathan Smallwood, whose four-year-old son, Wolf, attends the preschool. When Smallwood first took the helm last year, his son was tearing up everything in sight. After about a week in the school, the two went on a walk on the grounds and Wolf ran ahead. Smallwood was shocked when his son turned around and said, "Papa, be careful not to step on the wildflowers."
"It stopped me in my tracks," he says. "I have the advantage of seeing the experiences of this as not just a director but as a parent."