Schools / Kids

‘Outside Means Outside’ at New Year-Round Maplewood Outside Preschool

Starting this August, a new preschool concept will debut in South Orange and Maplewood —the Maplewood Outside School.

“Outside means outside,” said founder Christy Zolty in a release (see below). The preschool, for children ages 2 to 5 years, will meet at the Summit Field in South Mountain Reservation all year round.

The concept has been well tested, Zolty said, at her previous endeavor with Brooklyn Nature Days, a forest school in Prospect Park.

To keep the tiny tikes safe, they will wear the “Muddy Buddy,” a full body, waterproof jumpsuit that lets kids “have a blast in muddy puddles, streams, and rain.”

Muddy Buddy Jumpsuit at Maplewood Outside School

Read more about the program below:


Maplewood, New Jersey — July 10, 2017

Christy Zolty spent the past several years helping to grow Brooklyn Nature Days (a Forest School operating out of Prospect Park) into one of the most sought after programs in the area. After a family decision to relocate to the South Orange/Maplewood area this summer, Zolty now brings her own version of this successful program to Maplewood with the launch of Maplewood Outside School. Pilot classes will begin this August with a more robust program beginning in the Fall.

Maplewood Outside School follows the Forest School ethos: it operates entirely outdoors. Forest Schools have seen great success and growth across Europe for the past decade and have recently started to become popular across the U.S. While each Forest School operates differently, the central theme is that class is held outside, allowing children to learn and grow in a natural environment. And yes, outsides means outside. Even when it’s pouring rain or snow, you’ll find kids ranging from two to five tramping through the mud, dirt and snow up to their ankles.

Maplewood Outside School’s philosophy is that kids have a significantly easier time learning when they’re given the chance to explore freely outside.  Several studies have found that forest schools aid in a child’s ability to develop confidence at their own pace. Forest schools help children express themselves physically and verbally and give them countless benefits from the time spent outdoors.

Maplewood Outside School is now accepting applications. Find out more about the school at and on social media: @maplewoodoutsideschool.

For more information
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