Pre-Elementary: Ages 3–5 or Grade Pre-K (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.

Nature Discovery Preschool Series — Prehistoric Preschool

with Colleen Kelley
Ages 3-5 (Adult required to attend with child)
Fridays, September 17 – December 3 (no program October 1, 8 and November 26),
Morning session: 9:30-11:30 am
Afternoon session: 1-3pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$271 | Tier B-$217 | Tier C-$163  | Tier D-$109
Limited to 12 participants. Limit of 2 children per adult. Siblings under 3 are free.

Nature Discovery Preschool is back to a ten-week series once again, taking place both indoors and outdoors! This season we will travel back in time to the days of the dinosaurs. Children will learn about dinosaurs through stories, songs, movement and crafts. We will compare different dinosaurs, dig for bones, and learn about the plants they munched on.  Come have a dinomite time! Please note: This ten-week series takes place both indoors and outdoors.

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Nature Discovery Preschool Series — Spineless Wonders

with Helen Ann Sephton
Ages 3–5 or Grades Pre-K (Adult required to attend with child)
Wednesdays, September 15 – November 17
Morning session: 9:30-11:30am
Afternoon session: 1-3pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$271 | Tier B-$217 | Tier C-$163  | Tier D-$109
Limited to 12 participants. Limit of 2 children per adult. Siblings under 3 are free.

We are pleased to announce a second ten-week Nature Discovery Preschool series, taking place on Wednesdays! Pretend to shrink down real small to explore the spineless wonders of our natural world! This Fall, Helen Ann will introduce children to the crawling, sliding, hopping, flying world of worms, spiders, snails, pill bugs and insects. All those spineless wonders are animals without backbones. Through live observations, puppets, stories, model making, songs and snacks, children will become more familiar with these creatures. Please note: This ten-week series takes place both indoors and outdoors.

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.

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