"Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls"
The Cedarsong Way sharpens the mind and softens the heart.
Forest Kindergartens are growing popularity in the U.S. as American parents and educators begin to understand the importance of nature immersion time for young children. Nature Immersion is defined by Erin Kenny in her book Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way as “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”. Europeans are more familiar with this early childhood education model and there are hundreds of waldkindergartens, rain or shine schools and forest kindergartens on that continent.
Erin K. Kenny is internationally recognized as a leader in the Forest Kindergarten movement and has been developing programs to connect children with nature for over two decades. Erin has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Education and a Graduate degree in Environmental Law. In 2001, Erin founded Camp Terra, an all outdoor free flow nature immersion program where she began to develop the Cedarsong Way, distinguished by its commitment to free flow child-led nature time, child-inspired emergent curriculum, and inquiry-based teaching. In 2006, Erin created Cedarsong Preschool and has spent the last ten years developing the program into a gold standard model, known now as Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten.
Cedarsong Nature School
Erin Kenny's The Cedarsong Way
Sharing her own journey of learning about what it actually means to provide immersive preschool experience in an outdoor woodland habitat, Erin takes us deep into the rationale, philosophy, approach and day-by-day management realities of being authentically IN the outdoors.
“Erin THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for writing such a great inspiring book. Our copy arrived today from Amazon and already there’s highlighted quotes and exclamation marks of approval in the margins. It’s an awesome and inspiring book.”
Conferences & Workshops
Erin speaks informatively and passionately about a variety of subjects related to her work and The Cedarsong Way...
There are three options for The Cedarsong Way Teacher Training, from immersion to home study. Find out what's right for you...
What the Papers Say...
" The researchers told New York magazine that overreliance on direct instruction and repetitive, poorly structured pedagogy were likely culprits; children who’d been subjected to the same insipid tasks year after year after year were understandably losing their enthusiasm for learning. "
" You can’t role-play empathy! Or lecture children to death on how important it is to include other children. Children need to learn these things through practice. LOTS of it! This is best done through daily play experiences with other children – especially outdoors, where children can roam, explore, and play away from the adult world. "
" Children need the freedom to explore the world around them on their own -- to look under rocks, capture butterflies, and allow their minds to wander freely. This has historically been the life of a child. It is how children have learned to take control of their own lives, at least in their own world of fantasy. While playing, children actively control their games and they are in control of their lives. They can role play and dream. All these activities promote higher thinking skills and a sense of emotional security. "
" Being in Nature is Therapeutic: A study conducted in 24 forests across Japan found that walking among trees lowered blood pressure, the pulse rate, and levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released in response to stress. According to psychologist Dr Mathew White of Exeter University, research into the link between nature and well-being is increasingly focusing on effects on the body and brain, such as how brain activity corresponds with the nature experience. "