What is a Forest Preschool?

Forest Preschools are the U.S. version of Forest Kindergartens (Waldkindergarten), which have been popular in Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia for decades. There are a growing number in the U.S. We are on the cutting edge of nature-based early childhood education!

 

What we do at Arrowhead Forest Farm looks and feels like play most of the time, but our thoughtful teachers are weaving in peacemaking skills, empathy for other living things, and a deep love for the Earth.

Children go home tired, muddy, and happy. They’ve learned a lot without even realizing it!

Forest preschool classroom

Forest preschool classroom

 

REGISTRATION IS CURRENTLY OPEN FOR SUMMER CAMP AND SCHOOL YEAR

SPOTS ARE FILLING UP FAST

 

Our days are guided by the children's interests: sometimes we spend all day hiking, other times we may stay put and pretend fish in the lake, look for treasure, or try to catch butterflies. We try to focus on giving children activities to do that encourage compassion and empathy, such as caring for our farm animals, or making bird feeders for the wild birds outside. We believe that when children care for an animal the seeds of compassion and feeling of importance are planted.

Our summer curriculum is animal based, and our all year Forest Preschool program follows a seasonal curriculum that highlights the changes in our natural world.

We are an all-year program, and we do have an indoor space dedicated to our preschool age group with books, art supplies, and cozy nooks to keep the kids feeling comfortable, only when necessary.

We offer full and partial scholarships - if affording our program is an issue let us know and we will put you first on the list for a discounted spot. We believe all children should have access to high quality childcare and enjoy nature regardless of financial background. 

schedule

SUMMER CAMP

June 24th - August 16th

Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Late pickup until 3 p.m.

$45/day, or $60/day with late pickup option 

Ages: Children Can enroll older than three and younger than six years old.

Other requirements: Children must be out of diapers and needing only minimal assistance. Because of our outdoor classroom, CHILDREN HAVE TO be able to stay with the group and follow directions most of the time.

 

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We have a 1 : 5 teacher to student ratio. We believe this helps us to give every child the attention they deserve.

 

Indoor activities

Reading, art projects, dramatic play, construction, science experiments, and more! 

Outdoor activities

Nature observation,  tracking, sit spots, gratitude, singing, dancing, running, games, mud kitchen, shelter building, natural art projects, sledding, and much more! The list could go on forever, as our outdoor classroom without walls allows us to have space for endless activities, games, and imagination. 

 

2019 SUMMER CURRICULUM


Week 1: MOOSE “Explore and wander at Arrowhead Forest Farm”

This week we will be doing a slow introduction to our farm animals, and our outdoor play areas at Arrowhead Forest Farm. Kids will be encouraged to run, explore, find their favorite sit spot, help us name our landmarks on the farm, and have a fun time engaging with animal tracking and a strong focus on getting comfortable outdoors!

Week 2: BEAVERBecome a busy beaver and build”

This week we will be working alongside the beavers constructing away! From building our own toy cars, to working as a team to build a dam together - there is nothing we can’t accomplish here! Forts, fairy houses, art projects - nothing can stop us from being busy at Arrowhead Forest Farm.

Week 3: FOX “We can walk like the fox, can you?”

This week we are focusing on fox walking, and awareness in the woods. We will playing lots of camouflage, hide and seek, and keeping a close eye out for any local animals we might be able to spot. Real or imaginary this week will be filled with animal fun.

Week 4: EAGLE “Soar through the farm”

Who knows this week we might even get to see our friend on the lake, the bald eagle. Focusing on birds this week we will be delving into bird games, bird identification, and learning our local bird calls. A bird week calls for crafting wild bird feeders, putting up a bird house, singing like song birds, and playing a lot of owl vs chickadee!

Week 5: TROUT “Can you catch me?”

This week we will be delving deep into our underwater world, and spending lots of time thinking about those fish in the lake. Digging up worms, pretend fishing, field games, and maybe even catching a real fish will be some of the highlights this week. Fish performances, time spent wading in the shore and more!

Week 6: WOODCHUCK “I love gardens, how about you?”

Woodchuck week is an awesome time to connect our wild animals back to our farm, and connect the kids to their food. We will spending a lot of time in the gardens this week and focusing on learning about burrowing behavior. Building shelters, digging holes, playing garden games and learning about some local plants that we love are all going to be a part of this garden adventure!

Week 7: RACCOON “Who’s that in the shadows?”

Raccoon week calls for dress up, camouflage, shadow play, silly games and learning about our local animals family dynamic. We will be bridging the gap between the natural world and our farm animals this week as we talk about our stories from the farm, and try to keep away this unwanted chicken thief! Family play, games, theatre, exploration, music and fun.

Week 8: BEAR “Let’s find the pot of honey”

Bears are out there searching for their pot of honey, and so are we! Getting in the mind of the bear, preparing for hibernation, and seeking out life's sweetest treats. Our last week focuses on why pollinators are important and respecting the little critters in our world, all while enjoying the last sweet moments of summer.

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Here at AFF we believe that when children are given responsibility they rise to the occasion; our preschoolers help us gather materials for a fire and learn to safely use real construction tools. We believe this not only keeps kids engaged and interested, but also develops the confidence to believe they can accomplish tasks later in life.


Daily Schedule

9:00 arrive, welcome circle

9:15 walk to forest classroom and free play, or check on animals

10:30 snack time

11:00 group projects & games

12:00 lunch & story time

12:30 activities & free play

1:00 pick up for some, quiet time for others

2:00 snack, stories and free play

3:00 all kids are picked up

*schedule varies daily with new activities and is sometimes modified