Natural Barefoot Learning

What is Forest School?

Forest school is an educational philosophy that takes a holistic approach to learning. (You don’t even have to be in an actual forest!) If you’re looking for a structured group, this is not it. Things learned in forest school are child-directed and play-based, no matter the age. Barefoot University takes this approach while incorporating STEM, community service, and nature-based activities each week.

Our meetups are all about the exploration of our surroundings - which include practical nature activities that are hands-on and also stem off into other subjects of learning. No adult or child can fail at forest school.

Key Aspects

  • Exploration: Children explore their surroundings, engaging in practical and achievable nature activities that branch into various subjects and spark learning.

  • Risk Play: Activities like climbing trees, tool usage, and fire starting build self-awareness and confidence while developing communications skills and informed decision-making. 

  • Holistic Growth: Children participating in nature and risk activities are mentally and physically healthier, perform better academically, and have better concentration, confidence, and creativity.

  • Connection with Nature: The wilder and more natural, the better! Kids cultivate respect for nature with the resources they have.

  • Long-Term Process: Regular sessions foster continual development of skills and understanding of the cycles in nature.  

An inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.
Forest School England

How We Operate

Our communities gather weekly for forest school activities in the same park every week to allow families to observe seasonal changes, become comfortable in their outdoor classrooms, and take a closer look at nature through continued exposure to the same area.

Families are encouraged to participate as much as they wish. Our motto is “Do what’s best for your family.” Whether joining group activities or exploring independently, the choice is yours! 

Field trips enhance learning opportunities and include activities like park exploration, fossil hunting, hiking, local farm visits, camping, and visiting nature centers. Each community customizes meet-ups to suit their group.

Barefoot University emphasizes learning through service. Each month, communities participate in service projects that align with seasonal themes, such as raking leaves for shut-ins, park clean-ups, and volunteering at animal farms or gardens. The possibilities are endless!

Family Style Learning

Community leaders facilitate activities, but we leave the learning to the kids and teaching to the parents.

BU activities and educational philosophy are designed with three developmental stages in mind, because children of different ages have different learning methods!  

  • Ages 5-8 focus on Exploration & Observation 
  • Ages 9-13 learn to Analyze & Navigate 
  • Ages 14+ Practical Application & Independence

Our meetings are designed to be a starting point for your family to dive off from. Our activities have the potential for more (or less) in-depth learning based on the child’s skill level, age, and parental preference.  Each student receives a nature journal that aligns with our weekly focus, and our Members’ section has additional activity ideas and lessons for you to explore deeper on your own if you choose! 

Join Us

Discover community, explore endless possibilities, and immerse your family in an adventurous and educational journey with Barefoot University!