Lower Elementary: Ages 5–8 or Grades K–3 (In-person)

Our fall programs are a little different than what we typically offer, as we continue to find flexible and adaptive new ways to meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic.

Our emphasis is on providing inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups, typically made up of no more than 10–12 individuals. Our programs, as always, are focused on learning from nature, but we are placing a heightened focus on meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. It is essential to children’s social-emotional development and general sense of well-being to be able to play and be free outside with each other!

List of Fall Programs

Registration is required for all programs. 

Programs may also be viewed in a calendar.

Junior Nature Play Series (In-Person) –– Series nearly filled

with Katie Koerten
Ages 5–7 or Grades K–1
Mondays, 10am–12pm
September 21–December 14 (no program October 12)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$470  | Tier B-$376  | Tier C-$282  | Tier D-$141

OR

Thursdays, September 24–December 17  (No program November 5 and 26)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$432  | Tier B-$345  | Tier C-$259  | Tier D-$129
Limited to 8 participants per day

We are pleased to offer for the first time a new Nature Play program that includes kindergartners— Junior Nature Play! Children in kindergarten and first grade may sign up for this immersive, lightly-structured program that lets kids be “free-range” while being safely supervised. Instructor Katie Koerten will lead us to our favorite places to play in the forest, such as Stump Town, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods. Each day includes games, free play, a story and snack time.

Junior Discovery Days (In-Person)

With Katie Koerten
Ages 5–7 or Grades K–1
Wednesdays, 10am–12pm
September 23–December 16
Fee per Child: Tier A-$46 per day | Tier B-$37 per day | Tier C-$27 per day | Tier D-$14 per day
Limited to 8 participants per day

Attention kindergartners and first graders! Junior Discovery Days are one-time nature programs where we notice what’s happening in nature and explore specific topics. Sign up for as many days as you like. Our morning includes snack time, story, a nature project and a game.

Monday Nature Play Afterschool Series (In-person) — Series full wait list only

with Aemelia Thompson
Ages 6–8 or Grades 1–3
Mondays, 3:30–5:30pm
September 21–December 14 (no class October 12)
Extended days: September 28 and November 2, 1:30–5:30pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$335  | Tier B-$268  | Tier C-$201  | Tier D-$101
Limited to 10 participants

Our Nature Play Afterschool Program is designed to let kids be kids. Together we will run, jump, climb, invent, imagine, play and be free-range children, all while developing self-confidence and learning valuable social skills. We will explore wooded trails and fields, play in the leaves, build forts, climb trees, make new discoveries about ourselves and the world around us and use our imaginations. Children will be provided with a safe setting for children to explore nature and stretch their limits as they balance on logs, hold salamanders, or co-create new games with their peers.

Wednesday Nature Play Afterschool Series (In-person) — Series full wait list only

with Jeff Mazur
Ages 6–8 or Grades 1–3
Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30pm
September 16–December 16 (no class November 11 or 25)
Extended days: October 21, November 18, and December 16, 1:30–5:30pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$315  | Tier B-$252   | Tier C-$189   | Tier D-$94
Limited to 10 participants

Our Nature Play Afterschool Program is designed to let kids be kids. Together we will run, jump, climb, invent, imagine, play and be free-range children, all while developing self-confidence and learning valuable social skills. We will explore wooded trails and fields, play in the leaves, build forts, climb trees, make new discoveries about ourselves and the world around us and use our imaginations. Children will be provided with a safe setting for children to explore nature and stretch their limits as they balance on logs, hold salamanders, or co-create new games with their peers.

Morning Nature Play Series (In-person) — Series nearly filled

with Katie Koerten
Ages 6–8 or Grades 1–3
Tuesdays, 9:30am–12:30pm
September 22–December 15
Fee per Child: Tier A-$604 | Tier B-$483 | Tier C-$363  | Tier D-$181
Limited to 10 participants per day

Spend Tuesday mornings playing outside in the woods! Challenge your body by balancing on logs and climbing trees. Get as dirty as you like as we romp through the forest, explore under logs, make mud pie feasts and splash in puddles. Notice the changes in nature as we go through the season together. Instructor Katie Koerten will lead kids to our favorite places to play in the forest, such as Stump Town, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods. Please note: lunch is not part of this program, so please pack a robust snack that includes protein for a mid-program snack.

Art in the Forest Series (In-person) — Wednesday series nearly filled

with Aemelia Thompson
Ages 7–10 or Grades 2–4
Wednesdays, 10am–12pm
September 16–December 16
Fee per Child: Tier A-$437  | Tier B-$349  | Tier C-$252  | Tier D-$131
Limited to 10 participants 

The natural world has served as inspiration for artists of all varieties for all of humankind’s history.  While surrounded by the undeniable beauty of the outdoors, children in the Art in the Forest program will be encouraged to develop awareness of the details in the natural world and learn how to utilize its beauty in artistic expression. Throughout the fall and into winter we will explore our own imagination and expression with activities that include drawing, poetry, structure building, painting and sculpture. We’ll spend part of our time working together towards creating works of art and part free time in the woods, playing, talking and building community. This series is being offered two times per week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please sign up for one of the two days.

Girls into the Wild Series (In-person) — Series full wait list only

with Katie Koerten
Ages 8–11 or Grades 3–5
Thursdays, 3:30-5:30pm
September 24–December 17 (no program November 5 or 26)

OR

with Monya Relles
Thursdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
September 24–December 17 (no program November 5 or 26)

Fee per Child: Tier A-$289  | Tier B-$232  | Tier C-$174  | Tier D-$87
Limited to 10 participants 

Sometimes you just need to run, explore and play outdoors! Girls into the Wild is designed to get girls outside, playing and engaging with nature in their own way. Instructor Katie Koerten offers games and activities that each girl can participate in at her own comfort level, from climbing trees, to playing camouflage in the forest, to running and whooping wildly through fields. Come build your confidence and show your wild side!

COVID-19 Safety

Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.

Our in-person programs will be held outdoors, even in the cold weather monthsOutdoor learning environments have been shown to be one of the safest ways to teach while  preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

Masks will be required at all times when social distancing (six feet apart) is not able to be maintained. This will continue until our local and state health officials say otherwise.

As much as our teaching approach is “hands-on,” we will be limiting touching and sharing. If any equipment or materials are needed as part of the program, we will provide participants with their own. All equipment and materials will be returned and individually disinfected at the end of the program.

Participants need to come prepared for all outdoor weather conditions. We suggest bringing a backpack with extra layers, including socks and hats, bottled water, and snacks, as well as insect repellent and sunscreen as-needed.

Fees

Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a new sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment