Join us for the 2019 2nd Annual
American Forest Kindergarten Conference!

We warmly invite you to join us for the second annual conference of the American Forest Kindergarten Association.

Nature-based early childhood education programming in the United States is rapidly growing in popularity, and this year’s conference will have a special emphasis on utilizing the US Forest Kindergarten model as a pedagogical foundation. Learn valuable “tools of the trade” for best practices, business strategies, research and advocacy from experts in our field like Niki Buchan, our keynote speaker.

Share your own successes and take advantage of networking opportunities within community gatherings throughout the conference. See examples of a program in action through observation of Nature Nuts, the first Cedarsong-accredited school. Sing, create, play, reflect, and connect with us, and leave feeling refreshed and invigorated.

For those interested, AFKA will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event. As with any Forest Kindergarten class, please dress for the weather, as all of our sessions will take place outside.

We look forward to meeting you in the woods of Washington. See you in August!  

WHEN: Friday, August 9 - Sunday, 11, 2019

LOCATION: Nature Nuts in Maple Valley, WA.


Strand 1 Business 101: Starting Your Forest Kindergarten
This is your chance to hear from those who have walked this path and created their own thriving Forest Kindergarten programs. From licensing and insurance, to marketing and technology - this strand will help jumpstart and clarify your journey. 

1A - Starting Your Forest Kindergarten

1B - Using Technology to Grow Your Program/Facebook for Forest Kindergartens

1C - Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Panel Discussion* (Hear from five panelists, representing a diverse group of programs, on how they handle some of the most commonly asked questions about running a forest kindergarten. Topics to be discussed: insurance, licensing, securing a site, employees, parent communication, etc.)  

Strand 2: Best Practices

2A - Climb a Tree and Scrape Your Knee: Safety in the Outdoor Classroom

2B - Documenting Emergent Curriculum : Notes Cedarsong Way School

2C - I Can Do It Myself!: Autonomy in a Forest Kindergarten

2D - A Sense of Place: Ethnobotany and Traditional Skills

Strand 3: US Forest Kindergarten Model 
This strand will take the pedagogy off the page and put it into practice. These sessions will explore and illustrate how The Forest Kindergarten model looks from a safety, procedural and emotional perspective. 

3A - The Model in Action: The Cedarsong Way

3B - US Forest Kindergarten Model History / Pillars

3F - Early Childhood Development and US Forest Kindergarten Model

Strand 4: Research and Advocacy
Issues of advocacy, diversity and inclusion will remain an important aspect of ensure the growth and stability of this movement. This strand will help guide and support your efforts to create an equitable program. Also, we’ll hear from a participant in the the WA Pilot Project. First of its kind, The Project was established by the Washington State Legislature to investigate how outdoor preschools currently operate and how to adapt licensing rules to allow for the operation of full-day outdoor programs.

More information on sessions in this strand coming soon.

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At this year’s conference we will also have a special remembrance as we celebrate and honor the life of our founding member, Erin Kenny. Her trailblazing work continues to break new ground as more practitioners are inspired to adopt the US Forest Kindergarten model as their chosen instructional method.