At the Piedmont Forest School, children of all abilities and backgrounds learn together through creative, child-led play in nature. Programs are offered year-round, rain or shine, for ones, toddlers, preschool/Kindergarteners, K-5 homeschool, and after schoolers, as well campers during summer and winter camps!
While an increasing share of a child's typical day is spent indoors, the importance of frequent and extended time in nature remains significant. The outdoor environment provides a beautifully stimulating learning arena for children of all ages. Through a partnership with trained educators, children thrive in all developmental areas including STEM, literacy and language (English and Spanish), social-emotional, creative and physical development.
What We Do
At Piedmont Forest School, we learn and teach through free and guided play in Nature with developmentally appropriate practices. 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, asking and finding answers to questions.
creative drama, 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.
Explore links below to learn more about how and why forest school is important for young children, as well as its long history:
Benefits of Learning in Nature
Nature Preschool /Forest Kindergarten
The following is a sample of a day for children ages 3-6.
9:30-9:45 Arrival and greetings (health and equipment check)
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)
12:45-1:00 Clean up
1:00-1:15 Closing meeting
1:15-1:30 Walk back to shelter for pick-up
Nature Explorers: K-5th grade
This following program is designed for children ages 5-11 who are either in school or homeschooling. Nature Explorers will spend time dedicated to applied language arts, science, and math, as well as social-emotional and communication skills.
Sample after-school Schedule:
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.
9:45-10:00 Arrival and Greetings (health and equipment check)
10:00-10:20 Nature walk to base camp
10:20-10:35 Circle Time and Snack
10:35-11:35 Nature Play
11:35-11:45 Closing Circle
11:45 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,
and here if you are in the Greensboro area.
To have us contact you to schedule a tour, join us for an open house, or send more information, please send an email or 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
(Winston-Salem and Greensboro Areas)