What is Nature Preschool?

Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls.

- Erin Kenn

 

A nature preschool’s program is based on high-quality practices of both early childhood education and environmental education. A nature preschool uses the natural world to support dual goals that address both child development as well as conservation values. Nature is both the classroom and a teacher, and learning happens almost exclusively outdoors. 

Research suggests that nature enhances children’s development, including: 

  • Promoting social and emotional development
  • Enhancing communication skills
  • Improving academic performance
  • Providing mental health benefits
  • Promoting physical activity 

Our Philosophy and Pedagogy

Our Pedagogical approach is a multi-faceted one that has been inspired by a variety of philosophers, early childhood educational theorists, naturalists, environmentalists, and educators regarding how children develop and learn best.

While play in nature is at the heart of our curriculum, social and emotional learning, music, art, science, literacy, and math, are all addressed through experiences in nature.

We are committed to these principles:

  • Low teacher to child ratios
  • Play-based curriculum: nature is the best venue for imaginative play, active play, play with loose parts, and problem solving.
  • Child-led inquiry and curriculum development based upon the interests of children
  • Emphasis on empowering children through positive guidance
  • Frequent, immersive experiences in nature in a variety of weather
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Respect for all living things
  • Today’s children are tomorrow’s environmental stewards

Our Goals

  • To help each child grow and learn through developmentally appropriate practices
  • To prepare each child to succeed both socially and academically
  • To foster a love for, and connection to, the natural world