Nature-based preschools, often set in natural environments like forests, parks, or gardens, have gained popularity for their unique approach to early childhood education. Embracing the outdoors as an extended classroom, these preschools offer a distinctive learning experience that enhances various aspects of early childhood development. In this exploration, we will delve into how nature-based preschools contribute to the holistic growth of young children.

Connection with the Natural World

One of the primary ways nature-based preschools enhance early childhood development is by fostering a deep connection with the natural world. The outdoor setting becomes an immersive and dynamic learning environment, allowing children to explore, observe, and interact with the elements of nature. This direct experience with the outdoors not only instills a sense of wonder but also encourages curiosity and a lifelong appreciation for the environment.

Physical Development and Gross Motor Skills

Nature-based preschools provide abundant opportunities for physical activity and the development of gross motor skills. Unlike traditional classrooms, outdoor spaces offer diverse terrain, uneven surfaces, and natural obstacles, challenging children to navigate and move their bodies in various ways. Climbing, running, balancing, and exploring nature contribute to the development of strength, coordination, and spatial awareness, laying a solid foundation for overall physical well-being.

Stimulating Sensory Experiences

Natural environments engage all the senses, providing rich sensory experiences that are vital for cognitive development. The textures of leaves, the sounds of rustling trees, the scent of flowers, and the feel of natural elements provide a sensory-rich backdrop for learning. Exposure to a variety of sensory stimuli in nature helps refine sensory processing skills, heighten awareness, and develop sensory integration, contributing to a child's overall sensory development.

Enhanced Cognitive Skills

Nature-based preschools offer a diverse and dynamic setting that naturally stimulates cognitive development. The outdoor environment provides an array of opportunities for problem-solving, critical thinking, and creative exploration. Children engage in open-ended play with natural materials, stimulating their imagination and developing cognitive skills such as planning, decision-making, and reasoning. Nature-based learning environments foster a sense of inquiry and a love for exploration, laying the groundwork for future academic success.

Social and Emotional Growth

Interacting with the natural world in a group setting encourages social and emotional development in children. Nature-based preschools promote collaboration, teamwork, and communication as children engage in collective activities and explore together. The outdoor environment often inspires a sense of awe and tranquility, contributing to emotional well-being. Nature-based learning environments also provide opportunities for risk-taking, resilience, and self-regulation, fostering the development of emotional intelligence.

Environmental Stewardship and Appreciation

Experiencing nature firsthand in a nature-based preschool instills a sense of environmental stewardship and appreciation from an early age. Children develop a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of preserving the natural world. Nature-based education lays the foundation for environmental literacy, nurturing a generation of individuals who are more inclined to care for and protect the planet.


Related : What Makes a Preschool Environment Conducive to Early Learning?

Suggesting a Nature-Based Preschool

For parents seeking a preschool that prioritizes holistic development through a nature-based approach, consider institutions that emphasize outdoor learning, provide access to natural spaces, and integrate nature into the curriculum. A nature-based preschool that actively embraces the outdoors as a learning environment offers a unique and enriching educational experience for children, fostering their overall growth and well-being.

Montessori Shir-Hashirim Los Angeles

  • 6047 Carlton Way, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Highly rated for focused curriculum, excellent staff, and diverse extracurriculars
  • Half day: $27,000 yearly, $9,000 quarterly
  • Full day: $28,500 yearly, $9,500 quarterly

Shir-Hasirim Montessori school has two different locations. The main location is on Carlton Way in Los Angeles. This school teaches children between the ages of 2 and 6 and prepares them for some of the top Montessori elementary schools in the city. Specifically, they offer a primary program and a summer program for preschool children.

At Shir-Hashirim, they allow their students to grow and learn both individually and within the community of the school. Students are able to learn at their own pace when it comes to both practical life skills and subjects such as math and language.

Shir-Hashirim Montessori has a parent-and-me program that is best for the families who may enroll their child in the Montessori program.



In conclusion, nature-based preschools play a significant role in enhancing early childhood development. Through fostering a connection with the natural world, promoting physical development and gross motor skills, stimulating sensory experiences, enhancing cognitive skills, encouraging social and emotional growth, and instilling environmental stewardship, these preschools provide a well-rounded and immersive learning experience. The benefits of nature-based education extend beyond the early years, shaping children into curious, resilient, and environmentally conscious individuals.