Nature Preschools

Nature preschools are a growing trend in education, and Natural Start is happy to support the role they play in developing happy, healthy children. If you are a nature preschool or want to help support the work they do, join our Alliance to help this movement grow. 


Council of Nature and Forest Preschools

Nature-based education professionals in the Natural Start Alliance are working together to support the growth and development of nature and forest preschools through the newly formed Council of Nature and Forest Preschools. If you'd like to take on a leadership role in the field, work closely with other nature-based education leaders, and help accelerate the growth and development of the field of nature-based early childhood education, consider joining the Council today. This is an all-volunteer effort that is supported by the Natural Start Alliance.

Join the Council of Nature and Forest Preschools

Bright Idea

Nature-based preschools and kindergartens continue to rise in popularity in the United States. A national survey of nature-based early childhood educators conducted in 2017 identified more than 250 nature preschools and forest kindergartens operating across the country. Read more

Feature Story

Do you want to become an advocate for young children? Learn three key lessons that will help you harness the power of your inner advocate. Read more

Bright Idea

The new association provides services, support and inspiration to nature-based early childhood programs in the Eastern US, from Virginia to New York. Read more

Peter Dargatz

Member Spotlight

Peter Dargatz is a nature kindergarten teacher at Woodside Elementary, a public school in Sussex, Wisconsin Read more

Fiddleheads Forest School

Feature Story

Outdoor classrooms might seem like a challenging environment in which to provide early literacy instruction, but they are also a source of unique opportunity. Read more

Lia Johnson

Member Spotlight

We sat down with Lia Johnson, the founder and director of Little Tree Huggers, the first bilingual eco-green preschool in Leesburg, Virginia. Read more

Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way

Resources

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's director, Erin Kenny shares her journey of learning about what it actually means to provide immersive preschool experience in an outdoor woodland habitat, and takes us deep into the rationale, philosophy, approach and day-by-day management realities of being authentically in the outdoors. Read more

Resources

Environmental education expert David Sobel joins with a variety of colleagues to share their experiences and steps for creating a successful forest kindergarten program. Read more

Prescott College

Prescott College

Bright Idea

Prescott College has received a $100,000 grant from the George B. Storer Foundation to establish a Center for Place- and Nature-Based Early Childhood Education. The Center will train preschool instructors with an emphasis on working with children outdoors in nature. Read more

Photo by Lisa Ventre, University of Cincinnati

Photo by Lisa Ventre, University of Cincinnati

Bright Idea

The three-year grant from the National Science Foundation will build professional support for teachers and continue research into early childhood learning in PlayScapes. Read more

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