By Andrea Gordon
Forest schools have long flourished in Scandinavia, Germany and Britain. They are places where children learn through free play, movement and hands-on experience in nature. Now, Canada is exploring the benefits of outdoor learning. Sangster Elementary in Colwood, B.C., launched its joyous Nature Kindergarten last fall, and now outdoor preschools, kindergartens and primary programs are popping up throughout that province, as well as in Ontario and New Brunswick. Why? Because there’s mounting evidence that nature enhances children’s health, learning and confidence while cutting down on behavioural issues. In Forest Kids: Why the Modern Classroom is Moving Outside, Star journalist Andrea Gordon conveys outdoor learners’ engagement and sense of wonder, and probes the fascinating science of nature’s effects on the brain and body of people young and old. But she also explores whether it's just a passing novelty or has real staying power.

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