Sarah Chatwood has been running an outdoor preschool called Fledglings in Montana since 2015. With her own preschool-aged daughter in mind, she designed an experience for children that focuses on play-based learning which helps develop confidence and resilience and also engages kids in nature. It's modeled after Europe's forest schools. In the midst of the pandemic, parents are embracing outdoor learning as the safest way to have their kids in school, even if that means spending 80% of their time outdoors during the Montana winter. Not only is Fledglings Covid-19 safe, it’s good for kids’ development. “The research is pretty clear that pretty much every area of childhood development benefits from spending time outdoors,” said Natural Start Alliance director Christy Merrick.

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