It is hard to believe that we are beginning our tenth year of nature preschool this fall. We have had nearly 1,000 children come through the program. We’ve grown over the years from two classrooms and one outdoor play area to three of each. Our children have experienced the natural world on a daily basis in all kinds of weather. They have visited diverse habitats learning about the flora and fauna that live in each and have experienced the cycles of nature. Whether looking for tadpoles at Teal Pond, climbing the ice-canos at Lake Michigan, or catching insects in the prairie, their interactions with nature have increased their understanding of the natural world and provided a deep connection that will stay with them the rest of their lives.
We know that time spent in nature is beneficial for early childhood brain development and that children learn best through play (especially nature play). We hope that the children that have attended our nature preschool have built a solid foundation that includes respect for nature (and each other); have grown developmentally in all ways including physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually; and have a better understanding of their place in the world (as everything in nature has a role in making our world work together).
Over the past ten years we have met many wonderful families who have contributed their time and energy to help our preschool grow. So on August 26, 2012 from 3:00-5:00pm, we have planned a 10-year reunion for the children that attended our inaugural year (2003-2004). This will be an opportunity for them to connect with old friends, visit their classrooms, hike on the nature center trails and help with a service project in the outdoor play areas. We hope the nature preschool continues for many years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about the 10-year reunion, please contact us at (414)352-2880 ext. 0.