Wild Child

Wild Child Association

Columbia, MD

We sponsor, support, and guide free-range children aged 2-5 through play-based, immersive outdoor educational experiences.

Free-range children taking guided risks

We accept some risk as a necessary part of the natural development of fully functional, healthy humans. Our kids get dirty. They get scraped knees. They navigate wobbly terrain. Our experienced Forest Guides are with them every step of the way, ensuring the environment is safe while still providing challenging play experiences.

Immersive Outdoor Learning

Wild child children live and learn outdoors in all seasons. We plan to spend 90% of our time in the natural world – retreating to our Reggio-styled classroom only for inclement weather.

Individualized child-led guidance

With our low ratio for all excursions, each child has the individual attention they need to have their natural curiosities satiated, their questions answered, and their interests cultivated. Our curricular style, based on the Coyote’s Way, meets children where they are and seeks to cultivate their own unique interests.

Varied terrain and opportunities for challenging, meaningful play

Our natural playground, flat meadow, forested creek, Reggio-inspired classroom, and the trails of Columbia are all available to our students as they learn to flex their wings. We survey expedition sites daily for hazards, but otherwise leave them to be experienced in their natural glory.