At Brooklyn Wild, play comes first.
We combine the rain or shine classroom of forest school with the freedom of adventure playgrounds. Using open-ended materials in outdoor locations around Sunset Park, Brooklyn, we give children the space and permission to lead their own play. Here, they can be messy, make friends, run around, be curious, build and destroy, test limits and find joy.
THE CLASS ROUTINE
For each mixed age class, your child will either meet the group or a Brooklyn Wild teacher will pick up your child from school at dismissal and walk with them to our outdoor classroom. The ratio during class is one teacher for every five students. Our classes are held outdoors, rain, shine or snow. (For high winds or thunderstorms, we move indoors to the Sunset Park Library.) Students eat snack from home, meet as a class to discuss the day's materials and boundaries, and then engage in outdoor, active, child-led play using loose parts and the world around them. Guided by our trained playworkers, every child is supported as they stretch their imaginations, practice independence, gain resilience and expand their creativity. Pickup is at 5:30 pm at Sunset Park (the 7th Avenue and 44th Street corner) or at the Sunset Park Library, based on the weather.
THE CLASS GUIDE
What to Bring and What to Wear
To stay dry and relatively mud-free, Brooklyn Wild supplies dry bags for your child's school gear and full cover rain suits for your child.
Every week, we'll be in touch about the forecast and what clothing your child should wear to class. Over the seasons, parents will provide bug spray, sun lotion, sun hats, multiple layers, snow pants, warm jackets, warm socks, closed toed shoes, rain boots and/or snow boots.
WHY GO WILD
Children learn best when they are fully engaged with the world, and can follow their own passions. At Brooklyn Wild, our trained playworkers create and hold a safe space during every class where children assess risks, test limits, build resilience and solve problems independently and with peers.
An outdoor classroom provides the space to move, the limitless inspiration for exploration and discovery, and a sensory, whole body connection to the world. Nature is all around us, even in the city, and slowing down to appreciate it fosters mindfulness, gratitude and awe. Outside exploration is not only safe, but also builds confidence and competence as children get messy and immerse themselves in play.
Loose parts--whether from nature or found materials--and freedom from adult directives (even if just for a little while) are integral to creative play. They foster children’s ability to ask questions, build the unexpected, and engage with each other. The time and space to play away from adult-dominated schedules is a rarity in our fast-paced culture. Children deserve a time and space where what they say, think and feel determines what happens next. Play is the soil that grows a creative, independent thinker.
All children experience the world differently and should be supported in understanding and validating their own emotions and the feelings of others. In a culture of respect—for their own ideas, for others' ideas, and for the world around them—children learn to solve problems, communicate with peers, think creatively, play independently and contribute positively to their community.