Lil’ Sprouts Nature Playgroup is a cooperative outdoor play-based learning experience for young children (ages 3-6). We nurture the seeds of connection to self, others, nature, and those who have come before us. We honor the land and the people who have lived on it for centuries. We foster respect for the Earth and all cultures and celebrate diversity. Our play sessions are are outdoors Spring through Fall in all weather. In the case of extreme weather, we have a covered space and access to outdoor space heaters if needed, otherwise we dress to keep comfortable in whatever weather that nature stirs up.
The mission of Lil’ Sprouts Nature Playgroup is to provide a nature and play-based experiential learning environment to help foster a sustainable culture in our community. Located in the unique setting of an educational farm, our program supports the learning and development of our students mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially.
What We Do
Our program focuses on nature immersion, child-inspired, authentic imaginative play, inquiry-based exploration with the cooperative support of the children’s caregivers. Children’s voices are at the heart of what we do: their interests, passions, questions and footsteps lead the way, alongside the seasonal rhythms of the farm and the natural world.
We believe in play time! We offer regular and repeated access to a natural space with a learning process that is based on what the children are curious about and inspired by. Open ended play naturally follows the interests and needs of children for joyful, meaningful learning. It encourages curiosity, possibility and action. This time for play gives children the freedom to develop autonomy, become invested in friendships and community, learn problem solving, conflict resolution and responsibility. We follow the children’s curiosity allowing them to lead the play, but we also gently encourage them to try new things. It may look and feel like play to your child, but our Nature Guides have a subtle way of weaving peacemaking, community-building, and a deep respect and love for the Earth and one another into every day of play.
We invite parents and caregivers to come play with their children. It optional to attend with your child, but if you would like to a basic background check will be required to ensure that any adults interacting with the children to ensure their safety. Our Nature Guide Leaders (Teachers) provide a minimally structured flow to each day, guiding children through exploration in our outdoor space. Children are encouraged to explore on their own, with other children, and with adults through theme related activities. Parents/caregivers will have opportunities to observe and assist your young child in exploring and learning through teacher directed activities as you support with your volunteer time in our outdoor classroom.
Playgroup is ongoing open enrollment, so you can enroll any time and tuition will be prorated.
2024 registration will open early in the year
Cooperative Support Costs
$90/month per child for 2 days/week (prorated if begin mid-month)
**SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORT AVAILABLE**
Sample Daily Routine
9:30 Drop-off & Play Time
10:00 Morning Circle (song, movement, mindfulness, etc.)
10:15 Nature Play/Exploration (Learning Garden/other supervised areas)
11:45 Closing Circle (share something from the play time)
**We advocate intuitive eating, which creates body awareness and encourages children to honor their physical hunger cues. We allow snack time to happen organically. Children will bring a healthy snack and as they get hungry and express it, they will be guided to nourish themselves. We allow sharing of snacks and guide the children ask others to share and encourage each child to choose whether to share or not without feeling the pressure that they have to. Please let us know if your child has any sensitivities/allergies so that we can keep them safe with their food choices.