Piedmont Forest School
Thriving Together in Nature
At Piedmont Forest School children of all abilities and backgrounds learn together through creative play while immersed in nature, year-round,
in all safe weather.
Children thrive as they engage in child-directed and guided play. Children and adults at our forest school are learning partners, and through that partnership children thrive in all developmental areas including the areas of STEM, literacy and language (English and Spanish), social-emotional, creative
and physical development.
We use an emergent, child-lead,
Here at Piedmont Forest School, we are committed to providing an authentic forest school experience for young children ages 18 months to 11 years of age. We offer progressive, inclusive, and developmentally appropriate programs for children of all backgrounds and levels of ability. Our mission is to foster the development of the whole child, while engendering in them a love of and a commitment to caring for the natural world.
The seeds for Piedmont Forest School were planted and germinated in 2018 with the launching of Earthwood Forest School, which primarily provided an exciting and edifying summer camp experience to a small group of children in the summers of 2019 and 2020.
In 2020, Sheri Grace, early childhood expert, long-time animal and Nature lover, and one of the founders of Earthwood, decided that the best way to ensure that children of all economic and cultural backgrounds could access and benefit from an authentic forest school experience was to found Piedmont Forest School as a non-profit. While we are still in the process of applying for 501-3c status to make it official, we have already been able to welcome a diverse group of forest school learners.
What We Do
At Piedmont Forest School, we learn and teach through free and guided play in Nature,
and use developmentally appropriate practices.
We offer several play-based programs.
Activities included in all programs include
short hikes, climbing trees, using tools, puddle play, and making forts
creek play, nature observation and study, searching for creatures, plus asking and finding answers to questions
creative drama, and other fine arts activities, sociodramatic play, inventing games, and
non-violent conflict resolution
storybook sharing, reading practice, journal writing, and thought provoking conversation
in English and Spanish
Nature Preschool /Forest Kindergarten
This program is designed for children ages 3-6. We meet from 9:30-1:30 on Tuedays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tuesday, Thursday attendance is also possible.
9:30-9:45 Arrival and Greetings (health and equipment check) in grassy area
9:45-10:00 Nature walk to base camp
10:00-10:20 Morning meeting/circle time and snack
10:20-11:45 Nature play, exploration, and study (choice of individual and pairs activities) in woods or at the creek
11:45-12:45 Nature play with rolling lunch (choice of small group activities and projects, crafts, and games) in same or different site
12:45-1:00 Clean up
1:00-1:15 Closing meeting
1:15-1:30 Walk to grassy area for pick up
This program is designed for children ages 5-11 who are either in school or homeschooling. It is offered from 2:30-5:30 Wednesday and Friday, with the possiblity of Thursdays, depending on enrollment. Nature Explorers will spend time dedicated to applied language arts, science, and math, as well as social-emotional and communication skills.
2:30-2:45 Arrival , Greetings (health and equipment check), and Active Play
2:45-3:30 Nature walk to base camp, meeting, and Nature Tutoring)
3:30-5:00 Nature Play, Nature Study, and Projects
5:00-5:15 Closing Meeting
This program is designed for children ages 18 months-3 years. It is offered from 9:00-11:15 Wednesdays. Parents are welcome to stay and enjoy Nature during this program, or use this time to take some time off.
9:00-9:15 Arrival and Greetings (health and equipment check)
9:15-9:40 Nature walk to base camp
9:40-10:00 Circle Time
10:00-10:45 Nature Play
10:45-11:00 Closing Circle
11:00-11:15 Nature walk to park
“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our chidlren's health (and also, by the way, in our own).”
Contact Piedmont Forest School
To pre-enroll and receive enrollment forms,
visit this link.
To have us contact you to schedule a tour, join us for an open house, or send more information, fill out the form below.
Current Office Location
180 Thacker Rd. Rural Hall, NC 27045
Current Nature Play Sites:
Public and private land in the NC Piedmont Region