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About Us

The Child's Element  provides daily trips in the beautiful foothills of the Wasatch mountains,

located in Salt Lake City  &  Bountiful, Utah.

Mindful Forest School will guide your child in developing mindfulness, and emotional intelligence while exploring their own brilliant mind. From creative expression and meditation, to building, hiking mountains, and playing in the dirt, this program is where your child’s imagination will come alive, while continuing to gain the skills essential for life.

The Child's Element allows every child to make mistakes, to learn the process of repair, and to try again. This skill set of processing will then be extended to every aspect of a child's life (i.e. family balance, peer relationships, problem solving, academic confidence, and through their own development of self).

Without the use of most modern technology and toys, your child will have the chance to get creative, and to brainstorm with a team of peers to explore their ideas and creativity, with teacher support. Through this supported structured and unstructured time, your child will build confidence and independence.

Experiencing our Earth's elements hands on, your child will learn with the seasons. We share in the joy that can be found every moment of every year.

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Our Mission

 

Mindful Forest School provides an environment where children can explore the brilliance of their own mind, by stepping away from electronics and modern toys. They are able to experience the natural state of being a child, through creativity, movement, meditation, and engaging with the natural world. A strong connection is made with the Earth, and this connection supports a child’s deeper sense of self, promotes mindfulness, emotional awareness and regulation, and creates a balance within your child’s life.

Sara Wild Jones
Creator, Director,  Administration, Teacher, & instructor of My Grown Up & Me
Sara grew up in the Pacific Northwest where she was primarily homeschooled. Her love for the outdoors was established as a child as she explored the vast greenbelt behind her home. Her natural gift with children was seen at an early age and has now provided child care for hundreds of children throughout her life. 
Sara's degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on Child Development, from the University of Utah fueled her passion for guiding the young developing minds of this world.
In 
Sara's twenties she led groups of 2-6 year olds in a Therapeutic Preschool. This adds a unique perspective in the training she has created for staff at Mindful Forest School. 
Sara strives to provide children with the most needed foundational support in their earliest years. She is dedicated to the work of connecting children with themselves, nature, and their peers.
S
ara lives in Salt Lake with her husband Max, and their three dogs: Zeus, Oliver, and Dragon. Sara and Max spend time outside together on a regular basis hiking, climbing, snowboarding/skiing, riding motorcycles, gardening, dog parks, and tent or van camping to continue cultivating a strong connection with each other and nature. 
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Lea, Teacher (Salt Lake Location)

Lea moved from WA to  UT when she was 5 years old.  Her backyard in Utah ran along the fence line of an enormous apple orchard. Lea spent most of her childhood there. She'd spend her days with the horses and catch snakes in the grass. With Steve Irwin as her number one influence, she quickly became the neighborhood snake wrangler. Her neighbors would specifically request her for snake extraction. She was only 7 years old.
From 2010-2015, Lea volunteered at a program in Orem called Friday’s Kids. There, she was a caretaker for special needs children between the ages of 3-12.  Soon after Lea reconnected with her passion for animals and nature. She has spent the last 8 years in multiple fields, becoming certified as an animal behavior specialist- focusing on wildlife education.  In 2021 Lea started her own business called Creature Connection. As a behavior consultant, she offers Canine and Equine Training. She strives to teach people animal language, and to preserve the wild spark in future generations. She believes wild life education strengthens our relationship with the land, and brings us back to our sovereignty. Lea is passionate about discovering the natural world, especially alongside children, and is thrilled to be a part of Mindful Forest School. 

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Hope, Teacher (Salt Lake Location)

She/Her/They

Hope was born and raised in West Jordan, Utah. From her first birthday, she has loved being around water; she was a competitive swimmer from the age of 11 and finished her career on the University of Utah Club Swim team in 2020. After taking a break from school, she finished her Bachelor’s Degree at Utah Valley University in Psychology and Exercise Science in Outdoor Recreation. Hope began working with young children in 2016, and loves seeing the creative minds of children at work. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, with her two spoiled guinea pigs and rescue dog.

 

In 2018, she learned how to ski and can still be found tumbling down the black diamonds at Alta Ski Area. In the past few years, she has learned to backpack, fly fish, boulder, and paddle board. Hope emphasizes the importance of genuine enjoyment and giving everything your best effort, regardless of ability level. She loves sharing the beauty of connection to nature and caring for something bigger than ourselves.

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Saidhnhin, Teacher (Salt Lake Location) 
After being born in Georgia, Saidhbhin has lived all over the United States. Her passion for the outdoors started early on, as she was able to travel all over the world with her parents growing up.
Saidhbhin loves spending time skiing, hiking, camping, and traveling with her daughter. Saidhbhin is currently in school studying nursing and her end goal is to be a nurse for adolescents struggling with mental health. Saidhbhin has a big heart for kids and loves supporting children in discovering new things! Saidhbhin is dedicated to nurturing the child's hearts and minds, cultivating good memories with children outdoors, and seeing children smile.
Grace, Teacher (Bountiful Location)

Grace was born and raised in Utah, and has a strong passion for the outdoors. Grace's love for connecting with nature is strengthened through her various outdoor hobbies, such as: Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, and Backpacking. 

Grace has provided routine child care to numerous families, equipping her with years of experience in the supervision of children of various ages, indoors and outdoors both. 

Grace is inspirited by the ways in which connecting with nature is healing, and strives to share her positivity with those around her, no matter where she goes! 

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Sue, Teacher (Bountiful Location)
Sue was born in Florida, and was raised primarily in Utah. Sue's love of nature started in early childhood. Still to this day, she remembers being 3 years old feeling the awe while watching one of Utah's amazing sunsets. Growing up, she spent most of her summers at her Grandpa's cabin exploring the swampy lands around Gunnison Reservoir, and now has the honor of taking her three children to the same cabin to explore and feel free.
Sue thrives in the outdoors, enjoying activities such as kayaking, rafting, hiking, swimming, and gardening in her yard. 
Sue has a background in yoga, live-in nannying, holding retreats, and guiding individuals and families in meditation/connection circles.
Sue believes that the earth has much to offer us, and believes strongly that we don't always have to be "doing" in nature, that just "being" in nature provides for our hearts, minds, and souls.
Sue is passionate about meeting a child each day where they are at, and guiding them in connecting with self, others, and mother nature. 

Additional teachers/ Substitutes:
Chloee
Mariana
Maddy
Kathleen
Doug

Tawni
Marie
Brook

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