What We Do in Nature School Programs
Together with program participants, we explore 100+ acres of forest, streams and wetland, deepening our connection to nature through activities such as tracking animals, building shelters, nature arts and crafts, harvesting wild edibles/medicinals, naturalist projects, sensory awareness games, and free play. Our preschool-age class enjoys nature wanders, climbing trees and slopes, playing with ropes, nature arts and crafts, scavenger hunts and other child-directed play. With a small child-to-adult mentor ratio (4:1 or 5:1), we work closely with each child to learn their passions and edges, guide them in assessing/managing risk responsibly, and support them in building meaningful skills and relationships. We also encourage stewardship, collaboration, and creative expression through story-telling, music, drawing, and journaling, helping children to share their ideas and feelings, and integrate their learning.
Our curriculum is child-centered, inquiry-based, and emergent, based on the children’s interests and new discoveries they make each day. For a glimpse at how we roll, check out our program-specific Stories and Highlights newsletter, a sample of our Fall Newsletter on our blog, and Our Approach page.
A typical day in the school-age program can look like this:
– 9:00 am – Gather at parking lot, play games
– 9:15 am – Morning circle, share recent nature observations
– 9:30 am – “Fox walk” to our camp in the woods
– 9:45 am – Build a fire, snack, work on forts near camp
– 10:15 am-12:00 pm – Daily explore of marshes, streams, forests and meadows. Explore time includes following emergent interests and focused skill-building: e.g. navigation/mapping, tracking, plant ID and harvesting, making fairy homes, solving mysteries, shelter building, sit spots, nature awareness and animal games.
– 12:45 pm-2:20 pm – Afternoon crafts and group games: e.g. whittling, making cordage, drawing, making milkweed pillows, plant collages, field guide study time, journaling, learning fire skills, scavenger hunts.
– 2:20 pm-3:00 pm – Gather together for circle time: share gratitude or reflections from the day. Close with a story or song, then head back out to the parking lot to meet parents.
*Preschool-age program runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and focuses more on the nurturing of social-emotional skills and nature awareness through child-led play. See Description of Preschool-age Program
Click below for more details about Earth Path’s nature school programs in your preferred area: