Paths to Learning

At a Natural Branch of Learning, all paths start with play and lead to learning. ANBL is located in a forest filled with play and learning possibilities. We carefully observe children's attachment to a parent, to other children, to other adults, and to parts of nature. We notice their skills and special areas of knowledge. We note their predispositions, interests, and participation in certain kinds of play, and we note if they're watching others until the time when they're ready to participate. And we always look for each child's personal strengths to acknowledge by describing in detail to them what we observe as we join them on this sometimes noisy, sometimes quiet path of play and learning.

Sensory
World

Lively
Languages

Imaginative
Play

Childrens
Talk

Verbal
Brush Fires

kinesthetic
adventures

joyful
learning

Sensory World

Young children become immersed in nature’s textures, shapes, lines, darks and lights, and colors. Along the trails, children observe, listen, and touch the forest’s living and nonliving elements: all become magical in a child’s hands. Children’s hands, arms, legs, and feet wrap around the natural textures of branches cut from nearby trees and constructed into obstacles to climb over, through, or under. As children play, nature’s sensory messages are encoded in their developing brains. These sensory messages eventually become woven into children’s ideas, theories, and stories about the world.