Play-Based Programs  (Ages 2-8)

"Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place." 
Rumi

Remember that special natural place that you went to as a child? Whether it was a ditch, a vacant lot, or a little bit of urban forest, you probably had a grand time exploring and creating games. You learned about the joys of a muddy puddle, you felt wonder at the owl that you saw in the tree, and you got to know a small place so deeply.

 

It can be hard to find the time and the space to play freely in wild places, and this is what forest school is all about. Preschool and kindergarten-aged children are at the perfect age to explore the properties of mud in a mud kitchen or create games in a tall stump. Getting dirty, climbing rocks, and finding our way safely and happily through the forest is all part of the forest school experience.

One of our program parents says,

 

"I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel when I pick him up from Fresh Air Learning and see him covered head to toe with mud! When he started three years ago he would tell me that he doesn't like the rain, but now when he wakes up in the morning to see that it is raining he can't wait to get to the forest."

A Typical Session

with Fresh Air Learning's full-year program

Our day begins with a song as we welcome everyone into our circle, then we head off into the forest or onto the farm.

 

In the forest, the facilitator observes the children's interests, asks questions, and brings out intriguing tools for the children to use. In the middle of the session, we gather for tea and a story at snack time, then we continue our play. Our activities are guided by seasonal changes and the interests of the children, giving them time and space to make their own discoveries.

 

At the farm, we explore in a different way. Through gardening, feeding animals, and doing farm chores such as collecting eggs or grooming the animals, we get to know the cycles of the year in a new way.

 

What will your children learn over the course of a year at forest school? They’ll grow in their physical capacity and resilience, social-emotional learning, and feel more connected to the land and each other. They'll experience so much that we’ve created an entire page of forest school learning outcomes. Learn more here!

 

Our Outdoor Homes

In North Vancouver, we play and learn in Lynn Canyon Park, Bridgman Park, Digger Park, the Seymour River Heritage Park, and Maplewood Farm.

 

In Vancouver, we play and learn at Jericho Beach and at Southlands Farm.

 

All of our programs incorporate time in forests, fields, and farms!

 
 

Staff and Parents

Child to Adult Ratios

Two facilitators lead a group of up to 11 children. For our parent and tot class, all children have an adult attending. Parents are always welcome to volunteer, and community volunteers also come to help with the program. Meet our teachers here!

 
Parent Participation

We believe families are central to children’s learning. Families or their designated caregivers are welcome to volunteer or stay as long as they'd like to help their children transition, and parents are welcome to become community volunteers in our programs as well. 

 

Program Options 2019-20

We offer programs that meet once a week, and you may enroll your child in as many individual classes as you like. Please note that your child must be the age stated below at the beginning of the program year (mid-September).

North Vancouver
2-4 year olds
(Parent and tot)

One class:

Wed 10-12

4-6 year olds

 

Choose between:

Mon 1-3:30

Wed 1-3:30

Tue & Thu 1-3:30

3 year olds

 

Choose between:

Mon 10-12

Tuesday 10-12

Thurs 10-12

6-7 year olds:

 

One class:

Wed 1-3:30

North Vancouver 2019/2020
2-4 year olds
(Parent and Tot)

 

Choose between:

Wed 9:30-11:30 (2-3 year olds)

Fri 10-12 (2.5-4 year olds)

3-6 year olds

 

Choose between:

Mon 10-12

Mon #2: 10-12*New

Thurs 9:30-11:30

Thurs 1-3:30

4-7 year olds

 

One class:

Tues 9:30-1PM

6-8 year olds

One class:

Wed 1-3:30

*We now have parent participation drop-in spots in a few of our classes! Learn more here.

Vancouver
3 year olds

 

Choose between:

Wed 10-12

Thurs 10-12

4-6 year olds

 

Choose between:

Tue 9:30-12

Wed 1-3:30

Tue & Thu 1-3:30

Vancouver 2019/2020
2-3 year olds
(Parent and Tot)

 

One class:

Wed 10-12

3-6 year olds

 

Choose between:

Wed 1-3:30

Thurs 10-12

Thurs 1-3:30

For more information on course schedules, fees, and application deadlines, please visit our Registration page.

*We now have parent participation drop-in spots in a few of our classes! Learn more here.

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info@freshairlearning.org  |  604-802-7539