Program and activities

Colorado Springs nature kindergarten forest school preschool

We offer an outdoor focused program for young children ages 3-13.

We start our mornings outside, each child should arrive fully dressed for extensive time outdoors. Outdoor time goes from school start until lunch (12:00pm) in any weather. It is understood that on especially cold or rainy days, outdoor time might be reduced if children no longer want to stay outside.

Current days of operation:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:45am to 4:45pm.

Schedule and activities

Hours: 8:45am – 4:45pm

Ages: 3-13 years old (child must be potty trained)

Program: We start our mornings outside and stay outdoors until lunch. At lunch, we move to the school property for a variety of fun activities and learning.

Outdoor activities include: nature observation, group games (to promote social skills and teamwork), lots of free play. Morning learning block that includes a story and some games integrated with the current curriculum.

School cabin activities include: free play, craft tied in with the theme of the current curriculum (craft participation is always optional and not required), a story, nap time for younger children or outdoor time for older children, Waldorf learning block*, tea time (in winter).

In the summer all of the activities are done outdoors. In the winter the crafts and lesson are one indoors, the free play blocks could be both indoors and outdoors.

Approximate outdoor time:

  • Summer: 8 hours
  • Winter: 4 hours for children with nap and 5 hours for children with no nap.
*Learning block refers to a short block of time allocated for a planned learning activity. Our curriculums include nature study, story telling (by the teacher first, and then by the children on a follow up day) and familiarization with some basic academics (introducing letters and numbers)

Probably the best way to see what we do during our program is to follow us on Instagram, where we share photos almost daily. And also our blog, where we share photos from recent events at the forest school as well as our learning activities.

Nature walk / hike

We start each day outside and stay outside until lunch time. Our nature walks are leisurely and meant for children to soak in, and enjoy the surroundings. Children aren’t rushed. We ensure the places we take them are safe so they can explore feeling free and independent. Our beautiful location offers many options — some days we hike up a sunny trail, have a picnic out on a log, climb some boulders or fallen trees. If we get a lot of snow we may choose to spend this portion of the day on at our school grounds, which are a bit of a forest in their own right. On the property there is plenty of beautiful space to run around, build castles or snowmen and even sled in the winter. We’ve had days where children sled 5 hours straight and we couldn’t even get them to break for lunch! 🙂

Crafts

Our forest school also has a school cabin — a historic little building. It is the place where we offer children a beautiful environment to have a meal together in a sun-filled room, work on crafts, or have quiet time with a book or toys. And for our youngest children to take a nap.

Our crafts are aimed at both developing skills and artistic abilities, as well as re-enforce current learning topic. Here in this blog post you can see one of our curriculums where we learned about wolves.

Lots and lots of free play

Being a child-led program is one of our essential values. We believe children need plenty of time to spend on the activities of their own choosing to learn about the world and about themselves. While we offer crafts or story time to them we do not enforce participation.

Learning

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” George Bernard Shaw

Our approach to learning is best described by these two quotes: “What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” by Alfred Mercier and “What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” by George Bernard Shaw.

We want to make sure that learning is never a dreaded chore for children, but something they approach with eagerness and excitement. The first and most fundamental step to any learning is the interest and the desire to know about things. Without it, the joyful adventure of learning becomes boring and resented.

What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” Alfred Mercier

Pricing

No minimum attendance requirement

Daily tuition for a full day is $69

Daily tuition for a half day is $49

See more of what goes on at our forest school!
Follow us on Instagram

Real Red Riding Hoods forest school & daycare
279 Walnut Ave • Palmer Lake, CO

(719) 960-0612