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2021-22 Outdoor Preschool

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Outdoor Preschool for Ages 3-4 

(Age 3 before Sept 1, 2021)


Play is the work of the preschool age child. At Nature Connect we foster a child’s sense of wonder and play through games, songs and stories. Each day has a theme that explores the natural world through movement, play and curiosity. Crafts using materials found in the woods help to develop fine motor skills and an appreciation for our natural resources. Children are also introduced to plant, animal, and bird identification through stories and direct observation. We also help preschoolers explore their physical and problem-solving abilities while navigating the woods around them. 

Outdoor Pre-K for Ages 4-5 

(Age 4 before Sept 1, 2021)


Our Pre-K program is a unique, nature-based outdoor learning experience which provides children with the opportunity to prepare for Kindergarten in a natural environment. This type of program is an extension of the fundamentals of our preschool program, with emphasis on developmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness including, but not limited to, literacy, letters and handwriting, numbers and mathematical concepts, science exploration, social/emotional development, creative expression, and physical development.

2021-2022 Academic Year 

Enrollment Options:  

  • 2 days per week (Tuesday/Thursday)

  • 3 days per week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)

  • 5 days per week (Monday-Friday)

Dates:  September 13, 2021 - May 20, 2022

Times:  9:00am - 1:00pm

Location: Church of the Apostles, Fairhope

Enrollment requirements:

  • Children must be proficient with toileting. They know when they need to go to the bathroom and can communicate that.

  • Because we learn in an outdoor classroom without walls, children must be able to stay with the group and follow instructions most of the time.

  • Children must show respect towards peers, teachers, nature, and the church property.

  • Review our Readiness Questionnaire.

Ready to observe one of our classes? Let us know!

Learn more about our registration process here. 

See tuition and fees here.

Financial aid is available and awarded on a yearly basis, based on need. Please register for program before applying for financial aid. Applications for financial aid are due by March 1, 2021.


What makes us unique?

  • 100% Outdoors - We spend all of our class time outdoors, unless there is severe weather. This means we get dirty and even play in the rain! We love exploring in the woods and at the creek and learning about the beautiful place where we live. If we do need an indoor space, we have a Montessori-style classroom where we can continue our nature study.

  • Small Class Size and Low Teacher to Student Ratio - We keep our class size small and our teacher to student ratio is one:five (or better), which means individual attention and care to each child's needs. 

  • Highly-trained Staff that love what they do - We hire the highest quality teachers in the area because we know who is with your child is incredibly important. Our teachers are well-trained, trustworthy, and experienced caregivers who love the work that they do. We provide ongoing staff development and opportunities for continuing education.

  • Room for Creative Play - We believe that children are meant to play and use their imaginations. That is what makes childhood special. Our staff see themselves as facilitators of the children's experience, holding the space for them to explore, learn, and play in the outdoors.

  • Physical Activity - We run, jump, slide, balance, and climb all throughout the day. Nature is the best playground! Children develop their physical capabilities and learn to be resilient in our classes. If the children need rest, we certainly make space for that to happen as well. Whatever the child's energy level, we work with it. 

  • Flexible, Nature-Based, Child-led Curriculum - Our curriculum is focused on our local environment and the plants and animals that live here. If we find a turtle in the woods or a salamander in the creek, that becomes our lesson. We believe learning happens the most when children have that "spark" in their eye. While we intentionally plan our days, we are also willing to toss out our "plan" for what we discover in nature. Incorporated into our nature-based curriculum are Alabama's developmental standards for preschool children. Read more about our curriculum and philosophies here.

  • Inquiry Learning - We love children's innate sense of curiosity, and we want to foster that. Therefore, we encourage the children to ask lots of questions. We then discover the answers or have fun wondering together.



What are we learning?

Our outdoor preschool program incorporates age-appropriate academics using nature as our classroom. Our teaching methods are inspired by a wide variety of teachers and ideologies. We have a flexible inquiry-based facilitation style, and we follow the children's lead much of the time. Some teaching philosophies that are similar to ours are Montessori, Waldorf, and the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Our curriculum is uniquely crafted using the following resources:

What does a day at outdoor preschool look like?

  • 9:00 Welcome and Drop-off

  • 9:15 Arrival Activity

    • ​For example: ​working in the garden or mud kitchen, doing a nature craft, exploring the woods, learning about a local plant or animal, or playing an active, nature-oriented game

  • 9:45 Opening Circle

    • Nature Songs, Movement Activities, Sharing Gratitudes

  • 10:00 Bathroom/Handwashing Break, Snack and Water

  • 10:15 Nature Exploration

    • For example​: Adventure to the creek or woods, building a shelter, climbing up and sliding down in the gully, learning about local plants and animals, nature art, sitting still in nature,  outdoor play and discovery

  • 11:​45 Bathroom/Handwashing Break. Change into clean, dry clothes if needed.

  • 12:00 Lunch and Water

  • 12:20 Creative Outdoor Play

    • Imaginative games and playing on the playground, nature arts and crafts

  • 12:45 Closing Circle and Story of the Day​

    • We each share our favorite part of the day and sing our closing song​

  • 1:00 Goodbye and Pick-up​


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