Most children enrolled at our older Creekside Campus (now at Redwood) for 3 or more days per week are automatically enrolled in a day attending our Adventure Day Program, which focuses on providing the opportunity for full immersion in nature, once a week.
We believe that children have an inherent right to experience nature and we follow the American Forest Kindergarten model of 'Total Nature Immersion' regardless of weather or season. Nature Immersion is defined as "unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world." During our Adventure Days we roam far and wide around Sonoma County - mostly exploring our diverse and beautiful regional parks. We follow a Flow Learning (aka Interest-led or Child-led) teaching style. Flow learning leads to emergent curriculum, the lessons that emerge when children are free explorers in nature.
We support families in learning to dress their children appropriately for all the different weather we encounter and we have a 'lending library' of rain suits and boots for families who need them. We firmly believe there is no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothes! Being exposed to all types of weather helps children develop resilience, and a greater understanding of the rhythms of the world around them (plus, there is nothing better than splashing feet first into a fresh mud puddle).
We keep a low teacher:student ratio of 2 teachers to 8 children and use our 10 passenger 'Lady Van' to get ourselves into the wild 3 days a week.
*See our Adventure Program: Frequently Asked Questions for more info.
Adventure Day (general) Schedule
Timing varies depending on where we travel to, and where the flow of the day takes us.
9am - Meet at the van in the Upper Parking lot for drop off.
9:15 - We are off!
9:30/9:45 - We arrive, unload, and sit down for a snack
10:00 - Snack
10:15 - 12:00- Free exploration in nature. Lunch when we are hungry.
12:30 - Pile in the van and drive back
1:00 Pick up for the halfway program back on campus. Children staying for aftercare get ready for a rest (see Creekside Schdedule)
This unfolds in a variety of ways. Children may find that the area we arrived in is just perfect and will plunk down and plug in to the natural materials offered around them. Other groups may want to wander and we will go for a short hike, to find the perfect place to traverse. The goal is to allow the children ample time and space to explore and discover the natural world without too much adult direction.