Forest Preschool
A natural place for young children to learn and grow.

Forest Preschool 0 Forest Preschool Picture 1 Forest Preschool Picture 2 Forest Preschool Picture 3 Forest Preschool Picture 4


Click here for details, including tuition rates for the 2017-18 school year.
Forest PreK

A view of our program’s landscape :

  • Regardless of weather, each morning we spend our time outdoors among abundant wild wonders during the months of September, October, and November as well as April, May, and June (except in extreme weather conditions). After nap/rest time, children head back outside.

  • During the frosty months, we spend a portion of every morning and afternoon outdoors discovering winter's many wonders. Wind chill values dictate how long we can spend outdoors. Winter offers time to cozy up indoors for seasonal stories, songs, sensory exploration, art, tool use, as well as exploration of Vermont wildlife’s winter habits.

  • We learn through play not only in nature but with nature and engage all of our senses to connect with nature more deeply. Playing with nature may take the form of making culinary delights out of mud, building with sticks, or perhaps making marks with charcoal. We also provide opportunities for children to learn how to use real tools including hammers, saws, and whittling peelers to promote fine motor skills and a positive self-concept.

  • A gentle daily rhythm is used that includes spontaneous play, creating with nature, movement, circle time, songs, storytelling, exploration, discovery, free play, and reflection. We use songs and storytelling to assist in developing foundational literacy skills. Numbers are explored by counting in nature as opportunities present themselves.    

  • We offer children an assortment of natural material and props that inspire play, exploration and direct connection with nature upon their arrival.  We call these offerings of rocks, log rounds, sticks, pots and pans, etc.  “loose parts.” Loose Parts aim to encourage spontaneous, imaginative play, creativity, exploration, cooperation, problem solving, and critical thinking.

  • We support children’s exploration of healthy risk-taking. This may take of the form of climbing a rock, small tree, balancing on a log, etc. In taking healthy risks, children develop the ability to assess and calculate risk for themselves.

  • Thoughtful attention is paid to cooperation and development of social skills that enhance a child’s self-concept.


North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier VT 05602
(802) 229-6206

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
Trails open every day
Directions to the Nature Center
Contact Us