Little Ferns Nature Program
Sample Daily Schedule
(On days with inclimate weather, children will spend a portion of
the day indoors interacting with 40+ animal residents of the WNC.)
• Arrival Activity: Sidewalk chalk drawing and literacy/ Shelter building/ Sensory blocks/Storytelling
• Circle Time:
Greeting song and "New and Goods"
Discussion of days of the week, months of the year
Day them lesson/experiment
• Craft/ Theme Activity: Ice Bird Feeders, dream catchers, bracelets, botany art, herb garden, hydroponics, yoga, fire-making at open amphitheater.
• Animal visit: Children meet, help care for, and learn about several of the WNC's resident animals.
• Snack and Story Time: at our Forest Circle in the woods or at a picnic table, underneath a canopy or indoors classroom.
• Hike: Children hike, often with magnifying glasses, pond dippers,
or binoculars exploring the forest, streams, and pond supported by our
• Writing/ Journaling/ Group Storytelling: Children return to their teepees in our Teepee Village to draw or write in their Nature Journals about their discoveries
• Free Play: Options may include obstacle course, tree balance beam, scavenger hunt, community art, frisbee, bean bag toss, mud soup.
Collecting and classifying local plants by shape, color, size, and texture
Guided By Nature
Our curriculum is driven by what is actually happening around us. We focus on observing and celebrating the seasonal changes of the earth. Students learn about the patterns and traditions associated with each time of year.
Autumn is the season of harvest. It is a wonderful season to kick off the school year because the seasonal change is so striking. Tree-lined streets change colors. We spend time in the forest studying trees, their leaves and why these seasonal changes occur.
As winter sets in, we explore how animals prepare for the long cold months ahead. We talk about the changing light, stars in the dark night skies, sleeping forests, hibernation, and water and ice. Colder, wetter days are opportunities for more focus on story telling.
In Spring, the days get longer and we observe the awakening of the forest and gardens. Plants are sprouting and birds are singing.
We partake in these happenings by making our own bird feeders and planting our own seeds. The WNCFS curriculum is designed to build awareness- both external and internal. We focus on mindfulness and empathy as the children learn to develop relationships.
Checking in with the earth, animals and our own feelings happens each morning, and attentive listening is practiced as we learn to identify and share these feelings. We strive to create an inclusive community of healthy, trusting students, connected to each other and to the natural world.
In addition to our core tenets of observation and awareness, we do a myriad of things to encourage kindergarten readiness. Through counting activities, building activities, crafts, species identification, and nature journaling- early literacy, reasoning and number sense are woven into the curriculum wherever possible and appropriate.
Not UNDER the chair, Silly!