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.

Spring program registration will open to existing enrolled families on February 16 and to new families on February 23.

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.

Junior Nature Play Series – Winter

Ages 5–7 or Grades K–1
Limited to 8 participants.

Mondays Series:
with Katie Koerten
10:30am–12:00pm
January 11–March 15 (no program January 18 or February 15)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$240 | Tier B-$192 | Tier C-$144  | Tier D-$96

OR 

Thursday Series:
with Katie Koerten
10:30am–12:00pm
January 7–March 18 (no program February 18)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$300 | Tier B-$240 | Tier C-$180  | Tier D-$120

Junior Nature Play is back in Winter 2021! 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 City, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods. We’ll hope for snow so we can go sledding, build snow shelters and slide on ice! Each day includes games, free play, and a story time.

Junior Nature Play Series – Spring

with Katie Koerten
Ages 5–7 or Grades K–1
Mondays, 10am–12:00pm
March 22 – June 7 (no program April 19 or May 31)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$400 | Tier B-$320 | Tier C-$240  | Tier D-$160
Limited to 8 participants

OR

Thursdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
March 25 – June 10 (no program April 22)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$440 | Tier B-$352 | Tier C-$264  | Tier D-$176
Limited to 8 participants

Junior Nature Play continues into Spring 2021! 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 City, the Ferns, and the Faraway Woods. We’ll observe how nature changes as winter melts into spring and make exciting seasonal discoveries! Each day includes games, free play, a story and snack time. 

Junior Nature Play Afterschool Series – Winter program full, wait list only

Ages 5–7 or Grades K–1
Limited to 8 participants.
with Aemelia Thompson
Wednesdays, 3:30–5:00pm*
January 13–March 17 (no class February 17)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$186 | Tier B-$149 | Tier C-$111  | Tier D-$75

Introducing a Nature Play Afterschool option for Kindergartners and first graders! At this program we run, jump, climb, invent, imagine, play and are free-range kids, all while developing our self-confidence and learning valuable social skills. Our instructors provide a safe setting for children to explore nature and encourage children to stretch their limits. Come explore our wooded trails and fields, play pretend in the snow, go sledding, and make snow creations with us this winter!
*There will be no extended days during our winter session.

Junior Nature Play Afterschool – Spring

with Aemelia Thompson
Ages 5-7 or Grades K-1
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30pm
March 24- June 9 (no class April 21)
Extended days: March 24th, April 14, May 12th, June 2nd 1:30-5:30pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$413 | Tier B-$330 | Tier C-$248 | Tier D-$165
Limited to 8 participants

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 Spring Nature Play we will explore wooded trails and fields, play in the mud, 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. This program is available to kindergarteners and first graders. 

Nature Play Afterschool Series – Winter

Ages 6–9 or Grades 1–3
Limited to 12 participants per series.

Monday Series: program full, wait list only
with Aemelia Thompson
3:30–5:30pm
January 11–March 15 (no program February 15)*
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248 | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99
* There will be no extended days during our Winter session but we will run our program on Martin Luther King, JR. day.

OR

Tuesday Series: program full, wait list only
with Monya Relles
3:30–5:30pm
January 12–March 16 (no program February 16)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248 | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99

OR

Wednesday Series: program nearly full
with Jeff Mazur
3:30–5:30pm  (no extended days in winter)
January 13–March 17 (no class February 17)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248 | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99

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 Winter Nature Play we will explore wooded trails and fields, play in the snow, build forts, sled, make snow creations, 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.

Nature Play Afterschool Series – Spring

Ages 6-9 or Grades 1-3

with Aemelia Thompson
Mondays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
March 22- June 7 (no class April 19 or May 31st)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$275 | Tier B-$220 | Tier C-$165  | Tier D-$110
Limited to 10 participants

OR

With Monya Relles
Tuesdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
March 23 – June 8 (no class April 20)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$303 | Tier B-$242 | Tier C-$182  | Tier D-$121
Limited to 10 participants

OR

with Jeff Mazur
Wednesdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
March 24 – June 9 (no class April 21) (11 weeks)
Extended days: March 24, April 14, May 12, June 2, 1:30-5:30pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$413 | Tier B-$330 | Tier C-$248 | Tier D-$165
Limited to 12 participants

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 Spring Nature Play we will explore wooded trails and fields, play in the mud, 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.

Morning Nature Play Series – Winter

Ages 6–9 or Grades 1–3
Limited to 10 participants.

with Katie Koerten
Tuesdays, 10:00am–12:00pm
January 12–March 16 (no program February 16)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$304 | Tier B-$243 | Tier C-$182  | Tier D-$122

Morning Nature Play is back in winter 2021! Every day is a mix of games, exploring and playing and snack and story around the fire! We’ll romp and play in the fields and forests of the Hitchcock Center, noticing the beauty of the winter season and playing games. And of course, we’ll visit our favorite spots to play Roots, Stumps and Ferns! We’ll hope for lots of snow for building snow shelters and sledding, and maybe ice for sliding, too!

Morning Nature Play Series – Spring

with Katie Koerten
Ages 6–8 or Grades 1–3
Tuesdays, 9:45am–12:45pm
March 23 – June 8 (no program April 20)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$557 | Tier B-$446 | Tier C-$334  | Tier D-$223
Limited to 10 participants

Morning Nature Play continues into spring 2021! Every day is a mix of games, exploring and playing. We’ll romp and play in the fields and forests of the Hitchcock Center, noticing the beauty of the spring season and playing wild games. 

Junior Discovery Days – Spring (Not a Series; Sign Up for One at a Time)

With Katie Koerten
Ages 5-7, Grades K-1
Wednesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
March 24 – June 2 (no program April 21)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$46 | Tier B-$37 | Tier C-$28  | Tier D-$19
Limited to 8 participants

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. 

March 24: Patterns in Nature
March 31: Awesome Amphibians
April 7: A Tree’s Life
April 14: Terrific Teeth
April 28: Animal Homes
May 5: Dandelion Day
May 12: Bees in the Hive
May 19: Life Under a Log
May 26: Oh My Dragonfly
June 2: Bat and Moth

Homeschool I: Storytelling in the Forest

Ages 6-8 or Grades 1-3
Limited to 10 participants.

with Monya Relles
Thursdays, 9:45–12:45pm
March 4–May 13 (no program April 22)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$563 | Tier B-$450 | Tier C-$338  | Tier D-$225

Homeschool I is back for a session all about story. While immersed in nature, we’ll tell stories and listen to stories; we’ll write stories and act them out. We’ll play storytelling games, read stories from many cultures, and even think about the ways we can use stories to solve problems like climate change. Free play, sit spots, running games, and journaling are all built into each day. Each day will start with a question of the day and there will be optional projects to do at home.

Being Animals Series only 1 space remaining

Ages 5-7, Grades K-1
Limited to 8 participants.

with Katie Koerten
Wednesdays, 10:30am-12:00pm
January 6–March 17 (no program February 17)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$300 | Tier B-$240 | Tier C-$180  | Tier D-$120

Attention Kindergartners and first graders! On Wednesdays this winter, it’s Junior Nature Play with a twist. Every day we’re going to be a different animal! Slide like an otter, hop like a hare, swoop like a snowy owl, and more. Each day we’ll play animal games, hear animal stories and explore animal habitats! And of course, we’ll visit our favorite places to play, such as Fern Village, Roots and Stump City! Come be wild in the woods this winter with Katie!

Art in the Forest Series – Winter

Ages 7–10 or Grades 2–4
Limited to 12 participants.

with Aemelia Thompson
Wednesdays, 10am–12pm
January 13–March 17 (no program February 17)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$248  | Tier B-$198 | Tier C-$149  | Tier D-$99

The natural world has served as inspiration for artists for a long time. While immersed in the outdoors, children in this program will be encouraged to develop awareness of the details in the natural world and learn how to utilize its beauty in artistic expression. This winter we will explore our own imaginations with activities that include drawing, structure building and snow sculpture. We’ll spend part of our time creating works of art together and part of our time doing free play.

Art in the Forest Series – Spring

with Aemelia Thompson
Ages 7–10 or Grades 2–4
Wednesdays, 10:00am–12:00pm
March 24 – June 9 (no class April 21)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$303  | Tier B-$242 | Tier C-$215  | Tier D-$121
Limited to 12 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 Spring we will welcome the world as it wakes up from Winter. We’ll paint budding flowers, make still life drawings, and sculpt with mud.  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.

Girls into the Wild Series – Winter

Ages 8–11 or Grades 3–5
Limited to 10 participants.

with Katie Koerten program full, wait list only
Thursdays, 3:30–5:30pm
January 7–March 18  (no program February 18)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$313 | Tier B-$250 | Tier C-$188  | Tier D-$125

OR

with Monya Relles program full, wait list only
Thursdays, 3:30–5:30pm
January 7–March 18  (no program February 18)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$313 | Tier B-$250 | Tier C-$188  | Tier D-$125

Girls into the Wild is back in Winter 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 and we’ll hope for lots of winter snow! Sled down hills, build snow mountains, and invent new games on the ice! Come build your confidence and show your wild side!

Girls into the Wild Series – Spring

with Katie Koerten
Ages 8–11 or Grades 3–5
Thursdays, 3:30-5:30pm
March 25 – June 10  (no program April 22)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$344 | Tier B-$275 | Tier C-$206  | Tier D-$138

with Monya Relles
Thursdays, 3:30pm-5:30pm
March 25 – June 10  (no program April 22)
Fee per Child: Tier A-$344 | Tier B-$275 | Tier C-$206  | Tier D-$138
Limited to 12 participants

Girls into the Wild continues in spring 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. Come build your confidence and show your wild side! 

February Vacation Days

Jumping Mice (Grades K–1) with Aemelia Thompson
Brown Bats (Grades 2–3) with Monya Relles
Groundhogs (Grades 4–5) with Jeff Mazur

February 15–19, 10am–12pm AND/OR 1:30–3:30pm
Fee per child for one session/day: Tier A-$138  | Tier B-$110 | Tier C-$83  | Tier D-$55
Fee per child for two sessions/day: Tier A-$276  | Tier B-$220 | Tier C-$166  | Tier D-$110

Winter can feel like years when kept indoors. For this Winter Vacation Week children can come spend time with our educators and see how wonderful the winter really is when experienced outdoors! During these days educators will bring children into the wintery woods to play games, build snow forts, sled, and learn how to keep warm and have fun while playing outdoors in winter. 

In order to maintain our policies of safety and care during the Winter Vacation Week, we will continue to offer outdoor only programs in lieu of our typical camp schedule. As a result, we are offering two separate two-hour programs for outdoor play each day. These programs will be a morning block from 10am-Noon and an afternoon block from 1:30-3:30pm. Families can choose the morning program, the afternoon program, or both as it suits their needs. Families choosing both the morning and afternoon blocks will need to arrange for their child to be picked up and allowed to warm up inside before joining for the second program. Full week registration will be required for whichever time is chosen.

April Vacation Days

Jumping Mice (Grades K-1) with Aemelia; Limit 8/10
Brown Bats (Grades 2-3) with Monya; Limit 12
Groundhogs (Grades 4-5) with Jeff; Limit 12
April 19-23, 10am-2pm
Fee per Child per day: Tier A-$55  | Tier B-$44 | Tier C-$33  | Tier D-$22
Fee per Child per Week: Tier A-$275  | Tier B-$220 | Tier C-$165  | Tier D-$110

*We strongly encourage signing the Jumping Mice age group up for all five days.  This will help group cohesion.*

Welcome Spring with our all-outdoor April Vacation Week. In order to maintain our policies of safety and care during this week, we will continue to offer outdoor only programs in lieu of our typical camp schedule. This Spring the Hitchcock Center is involving a wider range of our valley in order to get kids outdoors and learning about the wonderful place we live. Each day we will offer a four hour program, running 10am-2pm, with a Hitchcock educator.

Our Jumping Mice group will explore different locations in the forest and fields near the Hitchcock Center. Brown Bats and the Groundhogs will visit many of our beloved nearby outdoor spaces. Pick up and drop off locations will vary each day for Brown Bats and Groundhogs. Examples of places we might explore and play will be: Bear Mt, the Horse Caves, Groff Park, The Hampshire College Woods, Amethyst Brook, and Buffam Falls. Sign up for one day, two days, or them all!

Second Saturday Science Walks

Ages ages 5–7 and Grades  K–1
Limited to 12 participants.
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limit of 3 children per adult.

with Aemelia Thompson
Second Saturdays, 10:00–10:45am
Winter: January 9, February 13, March 13
Spring: April 10, May 8, June 12
Suggested donation of $5-12 per family

For our Winter sessions of Second Saturday Science we are changing things up a little. In order to still provide a safe outdoor space to learn about nature, while keeping warm, our programs will be set up as forest walks that will focus on different seasonal topics. Designed for children with their parents, registration is required.

Winter
January 9: Birds of Winter
February 13: Tracks and Traces
March 13: Camouflage

Spring
April 10: Backbones Not Required
May 8: Bloodsuckers in your Backyard
June 12: Slime Time

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.

Translate »
Hitchcock Center for the Environment