Welcome to our magical forest!
This is the place where we aim to bring play back to the children. We believe that unstructured free play in nature make wonders. Not only it helps to develop children’s bodies, improve their health, and make them happier, but also they learn so many important skills!
Hong Kong Forest Adventures presents both a physical entity, where children can run, climb, swim, and use all their senses to explore the forest, as well as the pedagogical and philosophical approach.
With the time we are living in, we look around us and see young kids with lots of pressure on them. They need to perform well at school, starting in kindergarten. We are worried that we, adults, forgot how important it is to play. Therefore, we are here to provide a warm, welcoming, and safe space for the kids to come play and grow!
Our motto is to “get out of the way of children”. That does not mean that we are not taking care of them, or that we leave the program completely up to them. But children have a great ability to look after themselves and when given enough space, they can bloom! Sometimes, they can even surprise their own parents. We watch them, lead them, we are always near to help, but we do not tell them what and how to do things. It is because our adults’ minds, however well we mean, is already biased by all we have seen and experienced. But children see the world in a different light. For them, a simple wooden box can be a cave, a monster, or a boat, if they are given the space to play. For example, playing with the elements of our playground, kids are free to rebuild and change anything; we make our wooden playground tactile and movable.
Please do not expect our child to come home with a finished picture or a wooden model in their hands, to proudly show you. Instead, we love to see our little visitors to leave with mud on their hands and sparks in their eyes. We much more value the process than outcome, so for us it is not important whether kids have a proof or what they did. But we are very proud to see that they have learned how to measure, mark, and cut a piece of wood, on their own! This is a skill that can be transferable to any other part of their lives and it is that kind of learning we aim for.
All the learning at our campus is hands-on in a natural environment. We take the kids to play in the forest, in the river, or on the rocks. However, we are not an outdoor school; we follow forest learning.
Both outdoor education and forest education take young children to be in nature, but outdoor education usually aims to learn a specific outcome, which is often initiated by the adults. Forest learning is focused on the entire child’s development while valuing the importance of play lead by children, and emphasizing the growth of their body, heart, and brain.
We encourage our little visitors to take risks! Of course, there is no real danger, but an experience of climbing a ladder or jumping off something, without us-adults standing right behind their back and being ready to “save them”, is a big growing experience for them. We trust our children. Our pedagogy is trust-driven, not fear-driven. We are not afraid of what might happen but what might not happen, with all usual restrictions on the children. We want them to take risks and have a little bit of fear. That’s why they love to play on our playground! They are not “baby proof”.
We are happy to watch the kids developing positive relationships with nature, themselves, and the people around them. In Hong Kong Forest Adventures, they are always welcome to come and play and bloom into wonderful humans!