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Growing Wild Program

Growing Wild, a Forest & Nature program, is based on the belief that children learn, grow, and develop best through play, exploration and discovery in a natural environment.

What is Forest and Nature school all about? 

It’s about: 

  • Getting kids outside! 
  • Getting kids connected with nature and the land. 
  • Kids learning through child led, inquiry driven, process focused play.
  • Giving kids the opportunity to access loose parts. 
  • Seeing children as capable and competent.
  • Supporting kids in developing the ability to assess and manage risk.
  • Giving kids the opportunity to use real tools.
  • Building community.

The 3 pillars are:

  1. Trust
  2. Reciprocal Relationships 
  3. Freedom

We are focused on getting children outdoors learning, experiencing and connecting with nature and the land. This is a play-based, child-led, inquiry-driven, holistic approach.  

Children play and explore in a natural environment using loose parts and tools. They have opportunities to practice their creativity, decision making and problem solving skills. Through these skills they then will not only expand their learning but also build their confidence and self-concept.

Goals are:

  • To provide a quality outdoor program
  • To be inclusive to all children and families 
  • To promote and uphold the pillars and principles of Forest and Nature School 

Growing Wild provides children with hands on experiences in nature that foster growth and development in all areas; physical (large and small muscle skills), cognitive (thinking skills), social (ability to work with others), emotional (recognizing feelings, self regulation, etc.), and creative. Development of self-confidence and a positive self- concept will be nurtured in children as well as respect for others, the environment and the history of the land. 

Children will be encouraged to practice being independent through exploration and decision making using loose parts and various tools. They will have the opportunity to develop skills in risk assessment and then be able to engage in risky play including using tools and fire. Risk is different for children than it is for adults. Staff help children learn about what a risk is, how to assess it and then problem solve ways to keep themselves safe.

Vision Statement: 

Growing Wild is committed to becoming a leader in providing quality experiences in the outdoors and nature and support for children and their families as well as providing mentoring for other early childhood educators delving into forest and nature programs. 

Mission Statement: 

To provide a progressive forest and nature play based program created and implemented to provide quality outdoor experiences for children and support to their families.

Guiding Principles and Values: 

The guiding principles and values apply to all who work in the program with the children and families. By upholding these principles and values, the FNS practitioners and ECE’s will be better prepared to provide quality care in a positive environment.

The guiding principles and values apply to all who work in the program with the children and families.

Guiding principles and values are:

  • Respect 
  • Inclusiveness
  • Diversity 
  • Collaboration 
  • Ethical decision making 
  • Professionalism

Michelle MacIver

I am a mother to two young kids, with a background in Education and Social Work. I have worked in a variety of alternative education programs and am excited for my new role as Forest and Nature School Practitioner! I have a deep love of the outdoors, alternative programming and working with children. I look forward to exploring the gifts of nature with your child(ren).

Lisa R.

I sent my 2 boys to Growing Wild Forest & Nature School. They had learnt to use saws, hammers, and nails. They enjoyed the time outside. It was wonderful to see such big smiles at pickup.”

Rachael D.

Cindy has a wonderful set up for Growing Wild! The outdoor space is full of opportunities for kids to explore and play with complete freedom. From climbing trees, digging in the sand, exploring insects, and learning about the environment, its full of adventure! My son had a blast and still remembers when he was able to smudge with the other children. I highly recommend Growing Wild!

Sobkowich Family

Growing Wild was such a fantastic opportunity for our daughter! She loved every minute of the outdoor activities and the well-planned learning opportunities! She wants to take part again this year!