Benefits of Forest School

Forest School originated in the Scandinavian countries in the 1950s as an extension of the cultural emphasis on outdoor living. It was introduced to the United Kingdom in the early 1990s and has spread rapidly and widely throughout the country since that time. Maplewood Forest School is the first Forest School in Southwestern Ontario and the first Forest School in Canada to offer programs to both preschool and school-aged children.

Forest School has a rich history and a proven record of effectiveness. Over its 20 year history in the UK, many researchers have studied the value of Forest School.


This research shows that Forest School has myriad benefits for students including improving and enhancing:

  • gross motor skills
  • fine motor skills
  • physical fitness and stamina
  • concentration
  • motivation
  • self-esteem, self-confidence, and independence
  • ability to work with others
  • language development
  • understanding and respect for nature.
For more information about this research, visit:

New Economics Foundation Evaluation of Forest School


Additionally, Forest School:
  • can be linked to the Ontario Curriculum in many subject areas including: Science, Language, Mathematics, Arts, Health and Physical Education, Social Studies, and the Kindergarten Curriculum;
  • provides a rich supply of resources and materials for use in many curriculum areas;
  • gives classroom teachers the opportunity to observe students in a different setting;
  • provides opportunities for multiple learning styles;
  • allows teachers and students to interact in a less formal setting and get to know one another better;
  • creates opportunities for parent volunteer participation and engagement;
  • provides opportunities for teachers to learn new skills and enjoy the benefits of Forest School;
  • offers an alternative to digital and electronic sources for learning and social interaction;
  • teaches participants how to recognize and assess risks for themselves;
  • is enormously enjoyable for children and adults alike.

"Look deep into nature,

and then you will understand  everything better."

—Albert Einstein