Nature preschools are a growing trend in preschool education.

According to the Natural Start Alliance, these preschools grew by 66% in just one year. Now, there are more than 250 nature preschools and kindergartens in the United States. The vast majority of them now have a waiting list, which represents their growing demand for this type of program.

Students in nature preschools spend much of the day (at least three quarters of it, on average) outside. Teachers are not only expected to have experience in early childhood education–they should have skills in environmental education as well.

The benefits of nature complement the benefits of second language acquisition, and include reduced inflammation, increased immunity, improved concentration, enhanced creativity and even better vision. Now imagine pairing all that with the wealth of benefits that bilingualism offers, such as improved cognition, enhanced conflict management skills, cultural appreciation and more.

Some preschools are doing just that: combining nature and language immersion preschools.

Here are four preschools around the United States that are setting the bar high:

Little Tree Huggers Preschool

Spanish Nature Preschool in Leesburg, Virginia
3 to 5 years
7:30 am to 5:30 pm
703-853-7133
littletreehuggers@aol.com

Primavera Preschool

Spanish Nature Preschool Atlanta, Georgia
18 months to 5 years
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
404-394-0123
primaverapreschool1@gmail.com

WanderKind Preschool

German Nature Preschool in Glendale, California
2.5 to 5 years
8:00 am to 2:30 pm
415-812-6675
wanderkindschool@gmail.com

Chavitos Nature School

Spanish Nature Preschool in Tacoma, Washington
2 to 5 years
8:30 am to 11:30 am
Contact form available on website

As the Germans say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Rain or shine, warm or cold, being in nature is wonderful for the development of our children. Let’s just hope that even more nature preschools with a language immersion focus open so that more of our children can enjoy this unique, child-centered learning environment.

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