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

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!

Programs may also be viewed in a calendar.

Registration for Fall 2021 programs will open on June 29 at 9pm. 

A note about registration: Many of our programs fill quickly, so we highly recommend registering on the waiting list. We go to this list first if a space opens up. And by adding your name, you can help us better plan for the programs that are in high demand.

Homeschool Programs

Homeschool I: Making and Tinkering a Better Future

With Monya Relles
Grades 1-3, Ages 6-8
Tuesdays 10am -2pm
September 14 -December 7 (No program September 28, October 19, and November 23 for Discovery Days)
Tier A:$728 Tier B:$582 Tier C:$437 Tier D:$292
Limited to 12 participants (if over enrolled, we may open a second class on Thursdays)

In this fall’s Homeschool I class we will be exploring how we create and tinker with the world around us. We will learn by playing with pendulums, marble runs, circuit boards, and more. Through the challenges of making and tinkering we’ll also explore what it means to make mistakes and have resilience, even when something takes more than one try. This class will also have time built in for free play, journal time and organized games.

Afterschool Programs

Junior Nature Play Afterschool Series

Program Full, Wait List Only
with
Aemelia Thompson
Ages 5-7 or Grades K-1
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30pm
September 15 – December 15  (no program November 24)
*Extended Days: October 20 & December 8
Fee per Child: Tier A-$436 | Tier B-$349 | Tier C-$261  | Tier D-$175
Limited to 10 participants

Hitchcock’s Junior Nature Play Afterschool Program is designed to let kids be kids. Together we will run, jump, climb, invent, imagine, play and be free-range kids all while developing self-confidence and learning valuable social skills. During Fall Junior Nature Play we will explore wooded trails and fields, play pretend in our mud kitchen, and make leaf crowns. Our instructors provide a safe setting for children to explore nature and encourage children to stretch their limits.

Nature Play Afterschool Series

Ages 6-9 or Grades 1-3
Limited to 12 participants
Fee per Child: Tier A-$401 | Tier B-$321 | Tier C-$241  | Tier D-$160

with Aemelia Thompson
Mondays 3:30-5:30pm
September 13 – December 13 (no program October 11)
*Extended Day:  September 13

OR

With Monya Relles
Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm
September 14  – December 14

OR

Program Full, Wait List Only
With
Jeff Mazur
Wednesdays 3:30-5:30pm
September 22 – December 15 (no program November 24)
*Extended Day: October 20th and December 8th

Hitchcock’s Nature Play Afterschool Program is designed to let kids be kids. Together we will run, jump, climb, invent, imagine, play and be free-range kids all while developing self-confidence and learning valuable social skills. During Fall Nature Play we will explore wooded trails and fields, jump in leaf piles, build forts, climb trees, and make new discoveries about ourselves and the world around us. Our instructors provide a safe setting for children to explore nature and encourage children to stretch their limits.

Girls into the Wild Series

Ages 8–11 or Grades 3–5
Limited to 12 participants

with Katie Koerten
Thursdays, 3:30-5:30pm
September 23 – December 16 (no program November 25)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$357 | Tier B-$286| Tier C-$214  | Tier D-$143

-OR-

with Monya Relles
Thursdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
September 23 – December 16 (no program November 25)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$357 | Tier B-$286 | Tier C- $214 | Tier D-$143

Girls into the Wild is back in Fall 2021 for more romping wildly through the field and forests of the Hitchcock Center. As always we’ll visit our favorite places to play in the forest, such as Stump City, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods – exploring the seasonal beauty of nature as we go. Play games, make friends, and create nature projects in the outdoors! Come build your confidence and show your wild side! Genderqueer, nonbinary, agender and transgender young people are welcome! Please note that the program WILL be held on November 11 – Veteran’s Day!

Early Drop off for Afterschool 

Mondays, 3:00-3:30pm
September 13 – December 13 (no program October 11)
*Extended Day: September 13 (1:00-1:30pm)
Fee per Child: $78

OR

Tuesdays, 3:00-3:30pm
September 14 – December 14
Fee per Child: $84

OR

Wednesdays, 3:00-3:30pm
September 15* – December 15 (no program November 24) *September 22 for Wednesday Nature Afterschool Program
*Extended Days: October 20th and December 8th (1:00-1:30pm)
Fee per Child: $72

OR

Thursdays, 3:00-3:30pm
September 23 – December 16 (no program November 25)
Fee per Child: $66

Due to the changes in the Amherst school schedule, Hitchcock is offering an optional half hour add on before the regular Afterschool start time for families who need it.  This time will be spent playing games or on quiet independent activities before the regular program start time at 3:30pm (1:30pm for early release dates).  This offering is only available for the children registered for the afterschool programs.  You will receive the link for this registration in your registration confirmation email.

Family Programs

Second Saturday Family Science (In-Person Outside and Inside)

with Aemelia Thompson
Ages 5–7 or Grades  K–1
Saturdays, 10–11am
September 18, October 9, November 13, December 11
Suggested Donation: $5–$30 per family

Join us for seasonal nature and science programs each second Saturday of the month. Designed for children (ages 5–7) with their parents, these programs will explore cool topics in nature.  

September 11: Composting Critters
October 9: Spiders!
November 13: Oh Deer!
December 11:  Crystals and Snowflakes

Monarch Tagging 

With Jennifer Unkles
All ages
Saturday, September 18, 2:30-4pm

Drop in to see how monarch butterflies are tagged and ask questions about this amazing creature and their hope filled cycle of survival. 

OR

With Jennifer Unkles
Ages 3+
Wednesday, September 22, 4-5:30pm
Suggested Donation: $5–$30 per person
Limited to 12 participants

The monarch butterflies are back and their cycle continues! Come for a small group class to see them up close, learn about their fascinating life cycle, tag and release pre-caught butterflies and then take a hike to look for others. Nets and supplies will be provided. We often find other insects on these walks. Data collected will be added for scientific research through the Monarch Watch Citizen Science Project.

Meet the Animals

with Monya Relles
All ages welcome geared for ages 5–7 or Grades  K–1
Saturdays, 10:30–11:30am
October 23, November 20
Suggested Donation: $5–$30 per family

Meet the animals this fall to get up-close and personal with some of the critters that live at the Hitchcock Center.

October 23rd we will be meeting Cob the Corn Snake. We will be learning all about Cob through the power of our own observation. This class will be outside, weather allowing, and involve hands-on learning and a craft at the end of class.

November 20th we will be meeting Ivy and Terra the Hitchcock Center’s resident eastern box turtles. We will be learning all about Ivy and Terra through the power of our own observation. This class will be outside, weather allowing, and involve hands-on learning and a craft at the end of class.

COVID-19 Safety

Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.

Our programs are designed to be fun and engaging and above all safe. The COVID-19 program guidelines are designed to help protect everyone as we meet the strict health and safety requirements of the CDC and our state. Please take the time to read the information thoroughly. If you feel that you or your child(ren) cannot follow these guidelines, we ask that you wait until these restrictions have been lifted to join one of our programs or events. We may change our guidelines to reflect new guidance from CDC and Massachusetts.

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.

Translate »
Hitchcock Center for the Environment