In celebration of the 25th year of the Young Naturalist program, we are pleased to announce our newest offering, a pilot forest school program starting in the 2019-2020 academic year: the Fox Class.

What is it?

The Fox Class will be even more outdoor-based than our current Young Naturalist classes. Except in cases of extreme weather (thunder and lightning; very high winds), class will take place primarily outdoors. (Current classes spend, on average, about a third of their time outdoors. The Foxes will have a reverse ratio, two-thirds outdoors and a third of the day indoors.)

What will the day be like?

This pilot program, like any forest school day, is flexible to the daily weather and the general season. Therefore, some days may deviate from the following general schedule; however, most days will look like this:

  • 8:45 am - Families arrive; children use bathroom and get dressed for the weather

  • 9:00 am - Opening circle; announcements; read a story that connects to our current explorations

  • 9:20 am - Free nature exploration and play (bathroom breaks if needed)

  • 10:15 am - Snack time; bathroom use

  • 10:40 am - Hike/extended curriculum exploration

  • 11:20 am - Reflection circle

  • 11:30am - Pick up time

Over the course of the year, your child can expect to dig for earthworms; listen to birds and find their nests; watch an animal; pretend to be an animal; follow tracks; play in the snow; identify plants; make feasts for squirrels and chipmunks; wear band-aids; make leaf art; make friends; listen to stories; tell stories; build a shelter; learn to fox walk; jump in puddles; catch falling leaves; hunt for mushrooms; watch the clouds; draw the clouds; climb on rocks and trees; fall down and get up; laugh and connect with each other and the environment.


The Fox Class will meet Monday through Friday mornings for 2 hours and 45 minutes from 8:45 to 11:30.

This mixed-age class is for children ages 3 - 5. Children must be 3 by September 1st.

Families may choose to attend the Fox class at the following days and tuition schedule:

  • M - F (5 days) $4200

  • Any 4 days $3500

  • M, W, F (3 days) $2800

  • T, Th (2 days) $1980

Classes will run each day with a minimum of 5 children and a maximum of 15. Enrollment is first come, first serve and continues until each day’s maximum is met.

(If minimum enrollment is not met for a particular day of the week, families will be refunded for that day’s tuition cost, at a percentage of the full tuition for their chosen option. E.g., the family of a child enrolled for 4 days a week would be refunded $875 for a day that did not run; the family of a child enrolled 5 days a week would be refunded $840 for a day that did not run.)

Why this structure?

Children who attend a forest school program are just as, if not more, prepared for their next school experience than their counterparts. Attending forest school contributes to the development of skills considered important for school readiness, such as motor skills, social and emotional skills, and curiosity. The many benefits of a primarily outdoor school experience include an increase in resilience, confidence, communication skills, focus, balance and coordination, and more.

Children in mixed-age programs experience an added benefit of being with children who are older or younger; the younger children look to their slightly older peers, and learn and copy from them, in a way they simply do not from adults. Meanwhile, older children learn leadership skills in the course of helping the younger students with things they might find more challenging. Exposed to other children of different ages, in different sized groups, and given the opportunity to reach conflict resolution with careful supervision (but not always intervention), the children develop a fine-tuned sense of self-awareness and self-regulation.

Registration and Important Dates:

Click here for information about the application process and to submit your application for the Fox class and other Young Naturalist class offerings!

Young Naturalist Preschool Open House

  • Thursday, February 7th, 3:30-6:00 pm

  • Our program director and teachers will be on site to give you a tour of our facilities and answer any questions you may have.  Children are encouraged to attend! 

Please reach out to Ashley at
845-534-5506 ext 204 or with any questions!