Since 2009, Waldkinder Adventure Preschool has been encouraging children from two to six years old in the Roaring Fork Valley to explore, inquire, play, and discover all within the context of the outdoor environment. In allowing children’s innate curiosities free range in nature, they come away not only with a passion for outdoor adventure, but the capacity to be safe and comfortable in nature while immersed in a rich environment that supports the deepest kind of learning.
Families choose Waldkinder because is not a traditional preschool. The vision in creating Waldkinder Adventure Preschool was to create a place where we could allow each child -- in their smallness or bigness, their loudness or silence, their shyness or boldness, through their fear or their audacity -- to follow their curiosities and interests spontaneously, through exploration and adventure. Rather than pressuring them to accommodate some imposed agenda, at Waldkinder, we try to create the opportunity every day for social, emotional, physical, and academic learning from real and meaningful experiences both inside and outside the schoolroom.
Waldkindergartens or forest schools, are about kinesthetic education; in the body. Children at Carbondale’s Waldkinder Adventure Preschool run and jump, stalk and balance, scamper and skip through the natural world. Whether on a mountain trail, at a natural hot spring or a city bus, Waldkinder are met with a physical adventure each and every day that speaks directly to children via the mind/body link. Walks are for adults, adventures are for children! A true adventure implies that you don’t know what’s going to happen when you start out. At Waldkinder Adventure Preschool, that’s exactly how we roll – we hike to places we hadn’t anticipated, we make decisions as a group about how long to stay, where to picnic and what to do in the face of a challenge. Risk and adventure are important teachers and within the safety of a group no larger than six children, Waldkinder has the luxury of being more flexible with this organic pedagogy.