Outdoor Preschool (Ages 3-5)

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Click here to RSVP to an Upcoming Open House: Feb 20th, Mar 10th, 17th or 19th

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. 

2020-2021 Academic Year *ENROLLMENT NOW OPEN*

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and/or Fridays 

One to five day per week programs available

Church of the Apostles, Fairhope

9am-1pm

Sept 14, 2020 – May 28, 2021

See calendar for holidays and breaks.

See Tuition and Fees here.

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.

Want to try it out for a day or observe one of our Spring 2020 classes? Let us know!

Register for a drop-off trial day here or email us us at info@natureconnectalabama.org to schedule an observation hour.

 

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 - Our maximum class size is 10 students, 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 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

  • 9:30 Opening Circle

    • Nature Songs, Movement Activities, Sharing Gratitudes

  • 9:40 Bathroom/Handwashing Break

  • 9:50 Snack and Water

  • 10:00 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:​30 Bathroom/Handwashing Break. Change into clean, dry clothes if needed.

  • 11:40 Lunch and Water

  • 12:00 Creative Outdoor Play

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

  • 12:30 Bathroom/Handwashing Break

  • 12:30 Snack, Tea, and Nature Storytime​

    • We provide this second snack and herbal tea​ - usually apples and peppermint tea

  • 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​

 

2020-21 OUTDOOR PRESCHOOL

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Call Us: 251-747-7846