We recently published an article titled “Enrolling My Preschooler in a Nature Program. What Questions Should I ask To Find The Best Fit For My Child and Family”. While many of our readers enjoyed learning about the questions to ask their childcare provider, a lot of parents also wanted to know how to find a nature program near them.
Enrolling your child in a nature program can have many benefits. When your child interacts with nature they develop a keen sense of curiosity. As they explore different sights, sounds, and textures, their minds remain active and engaged. Spending time outdoors will encourage better sleep patterns, a stronger immune system, and help with physical development.
If you’re interested in a nature program for your child, we’ve rounded up a list of centers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
RHODE ISLAND PROGRAMS
- Meadowbrook Waldorf School – Located in West Kingston, RI. This school offers nursery programs through grade 8. The children learn and play outdoors every day on their 28-acre campus of woodland, streams, and meadows. They have free regional transportation and a strong financial aid program.
2. Gordon School– Located in East Providence, RI, the Gordon Open Air School encourages play-based learning outdoors. Windows are kept open year-round to encourage good health. The school boasts a 12-acre campus, 70% open space and forest, 3 playgrounds, one stream & one pond, 4 outdoor classrooms, and 2 recesses daily.
3. Forest & Farm Days at The Wheeler School- Located in Providence, RI, their Early Childhood Program implements a play-based curriculum into their Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten programs. Students in these programs enjoy the outdoor, natural classroom on Wheeler Farm.
4. Tinkergarten- If there isn’t a nature-based program near you, but you’d still like your child to experience the outdoors, @tinkergarten might be a perfect fit for your family. Their methodology combines a weekly online class and at-home, play-based curriculum with a wide range of outdoor activities to suit any age that is both instructor-led and self-guided.
1. Arcadia Nature Preschool – Located on a 730-acre wildlife sanctuary in Easthampton & Northampton, their outdoor classroom allows students to immerse themselves in nature, through the exploration of plants and animals. Children must be ages 3-5. The class size is 18.
2. Cairn Hill Nature Preschool– Located in Lynn, MA, the Cairnn Hil Nature Preschool believes when children spend time outdoors, they develop a sense of place, which in turn fosters a sense of belonging and a budding conviction that they have an impact on the world around them. They interweave a Waldorf early childhood curriculum of arts, music, rhyme, and storytelling.
3. Cooperative Nature School– Located on the Moose Hill Farm, the Cooperative Nature School believes in the benefits of child-centered, nature-based learning. They aim for its children to become curious, thoughtful, active learners who love the outdoors and who believe in celebrating and protecting it
4. Boston Nature Center Pathways To Nature Preschool- Nestled in the heart of Boston, their program runs five days per week, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. PTN helps children explore, discover, observe, and experience the natural world using all of their senses while developing an appreciation for nature.
5. South Shore Natural Science Center– This Preschool is in Norwell, MA. Here, children will actively explore the Center’s diverse habitats on frequent trail walks, as well as visits to meadows, fields, and woods. Indoor activities include visiting live animals, experiencing the assorted collections of the Center, and exploring different parts of the building, including the EcoZone exhibit area and Coes greenhouse. Nature-related craft projects and nature-inspired songs, games, and stories will be part of your child’s day.
6. Drumlin Farm Community Preschool- They offer a nature-based program that offers opportunities for indoor and outdoor play. Drumlin Preschool addresses the developmental needs of children ages 3-6 with a maximum class size of 10.
Already enrolled in a nature program that you love? Let other parents know by adding them to Tykely and leaving a leave a review. You’ll help other families make a decision and let the preschool programs know they’re doing a great job!