Commitment to Equity
Benefits of Forest Days
The benefits of play in nature are undeniable: children’s immune systems improve, social-emotional skills are honed, self-confidence and self-esteem develop, and creative and critical thinking skills sharpen. There are academic benefits as well, including better hand-eye coordination and core strength, which are essential for children to later sit at desks and write. BOPN Forest Days incorporates place-based literacy as children explore maps, signs, and field guides, and math skills are developed naturally as we count and sort pinecones, measure sticks, and find shapes in nature. Forest Days ensure that children in urban areas have these invaluable experiences in natural environments within their own neighborhoods. See this presentation for a window into BOPN Forest Days at Charles Sumner Elementary School.
Children build resilience and self-regulation by playing and learning outdoors in a wide variety of weather conditions. All children and teachers are provided with rain gear, boots, wool socks, mittens, and insulated layers to stay safe and healthy outdoors. On rainy and chilly days, children step into their Oakiwear rain suits and Bogs boots upon arrival at school, participate in Forest Days, then step out of their outerwear mostly clean and dry, and ready for their afternoon back at school.