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What does Nature Play & Learning look like?

Though our activities and adventures will follow seasonal changes, nature notices, and child interest. We will follow this general rhythm and routine: 

 * Welcome period with open ended play provocations, time to explore, and time to chit-chat

 * Greeting with a song, gratitude, and a chance to build excitement for our day 

 * Direct exploration of our natural setting (this may include an invitation, a challenge, or just a chance to wander and notice)

 * Games, songs, finger plays, crafts, etc. take place throughout our time together

 * A closing routine that allows us to celebrate our time together and share stories of the day

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Why learn  outside?

Build community. Build Connection. 

Children learn through play and playing outside comes naturally. Learning and playing outside gives children the space to develop strong gross and fine motor skills, understand their relationship to other living things, develop their own ecological identify, build executive function, and so much more. 

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What is my philosophy?

I believe in building a child's personal, academic, and life skills through nature immersion. I use the environment as a third teacher and consider my role rooted in observation, rather than facilitation or direction.

 

Most of my practice developed after reading "Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown and I let the 8 Shields philosophy guide my nature mentorships. I value risky play (not to confused with hazardous play, ask me about the difference!) and strive to help children build resilience, confidence, knowledge of place, and a deep connection to nature. 

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Fiddleheads 

For budding naturalists from preK-2nd grade

Fiddleheads Nature Play and Learning classes are designed to get your child outside, playing, learning, and connecting with the natural world. 

With the help of a caregiver volunteer these classes provide opportunities to explore nature, connect with peers, problem solve, and enhance learning. 

We'll stick to a regular rhythm and routine, but each week will bring new adventures and nature notices. 

*Classes are scheduled to resume March 2021. To express interest and make sure you are the first to know, sign up for my seasonal e-newsletter! 

Roots

For budding naturalists ages 22 mo. - 2 years

Roots Nature Play & Learning classes build nature connection for you and your budding naturalist. This caregiver/parent and child class follows a regular rhythm and flow with plenty of opportunities to play. 

We'll use our senses to discover and understand the world around us. We'll dive into developmentally appropriate "activities" each class and take adventures to learn in, with, and about nature. 

*Classes are scheduled to resume March 2021. To express interest and make sure you are the first to know, sign up for my seasonal e-newsletter! 

COVID-19 Considerations

 

I completely understand that signing up for a class with other families can feel scary right now. All participants in Among the Ferns Nature Play & Learning classes must comply with Pennsylvania state safety regulations and guidance. Group sizes are limited to 8 children (plus their adults) and I ask that all participants over the age of 2 wear a mask when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible (*please arrive to each class wearing a mask). Being fully outdoors means that we can practice social distancing and feel a little safer. To ensure that safety, please bring your own: mask, sanitizer, gloves (if you would like), snacks and drinks, and anything else you may need. We will primarily use the natural materials around us, but Among the Ferns will provide individual use materials if needed to avoid sharing materials. 

Weather Policy

 

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes". Have you read the book by Linda Keson McGurk with this quote? I fully believe in this statement, though I also believe in arriving safely to classes. Weather cancellations will hopefully be few and far between (I intend to only cancel if travel to/from our location will be unsafe or if temperatures dip below a level that we can safely explore), and adventurers will receive notice of any cancellation by the evening before class. Any classes cancelled due to weather will be made up at the end of the session if possible. 

Illness & Cancellation Policy

 

Given our current health crisis, I ask everyone participating in Among the Ferns classes to take our community into consideration. If you are feeling ill, have flu-like symptoms, a fever, or any of the symptoms listed on the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus page please DO NOT attend class. Please plan to self-screen before attending class, I will do the same. I will have a thermometer on hand and if anyone experiences symptoms during class, I will kindly ask those individuals to head home to ensure the health and safety of the entire group. I am happy to work with you to provide a refund or discuss make-up opportunities if you must miss class due to illness. 

If I experience any illness or COVID-19 symptoms I will alert attendees as soon as possible and cancel class. I will not host class if I experience any symptoms and will either re-schedule class or offer refunds/a make-up opportunity.

 

** Please note that if, at any time, Pike County returns to the red phase or puts limits on group gatherings that I will follow state recommendations. 

A Note on Policies

Based in Shohola, PA

Email: emilyamongtheferns@gmail.com

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