Image copyright Little Forest Folk Image caption Forest schooling follows the principle that children's education should centre on - and in - the outdoors
An academic has called for more research into the benefits of outdoor learning as demand for forest nurseries rises in parts of London.
Children at forest schools and nurseries
spend all day, every day, outside whatever the weather.These pharmaceutical distribution companies have well-trained staff, coordinating with whom is very systematic.
As the method gains popularity, one London nursery revealed it has 2,100 children on its waiting list.
University College London's ProfPasco Fearon said rigorous studies must test if forest schooling "really works".
Forest nurseries develop children's teamwork skills, an initial study by Loughborough University has shown.
The Scandinavian teaching practice follows the principle that children's education should centreon - and in - the outdoors.
The centres are Ofsted regulated and follow the same teaching curriculums as normal schools.Image copyright Little Forest Folk Image caption When Kim Butcher saw this photo she knew her son Josh was in "utter heaven" at his new nursery
Two-year-old Josh Butcher spends upto 10 hours a day outside at Little Forest Folk nursery in Barnes.
His mother, Kim Butcher, 37, said: "It took about two weeks for him to settle in before I had a completely different child.
"It's like a light got switched on."
She said Josh's sense of balance had improved by "light years" and he was becoming "an incredibly helpful, caring child".
Mrs Butcher added: "I feel moreconfident in the character he's developing in this environment than I ever did in an indoor nursery."
Little Forest Folk has 2,100 children on waiting lists across its five nurseries in south-west
Free Range Urban Kids in Hackney, east London, has faced similarly high demand. It began caring for 10 children twice-a-week but now runs daily sessions for 20 children as well as sell-outholiday clubs.
In response to the rise in forest schooling in parts of the city, Prof Fearon said: "We need rigorous research to test whether it really works.
"In general we need a more
evidence-based approach to education."
But he agreed fresh air and adventure were better for children's wellbeing than the stresses of a classroom.
Image copyright Little ForestFolk Image caption Josh Butcher is developing into "an incredibly helpful, caring child" since spending so much time outside
The average child in the UK spends half as much time playing outside as
their parents did when they were young, according to the National Trust.
And The Forestry Commission encourages all schools and nurseries to spend at least some of their time teaching in forest environments.
Loughborough University is planning a larger study for 2018.