Daily Classes of Nature-Based Curriculum for 3 to 5 Year Olds

Educational Philosophy

Childhood should be joyful and wholesome! We believe that the earliest, most memorable kind of learning includes climbing trees, catching frogs and making mud pies. We believe that empathy, love, curiosity and respect are the truest foundation of learning. We believe it is every child’s right, as an integral part of the natural community, to develop a foundation of academic skills through encounters in the natural world.

To Nurture Learning We:

  • Provide a supportive, safe learning environment to encourage discovery,  question-asking and experimentation.
  • Provide sensory experiences with live animals, natural objects, artifacts, trail activities and art materials for students to utilize all five senses.
  • Develop cognitive growth and motor skills
  • Develop problem-solving skills through hands-on games and activities
  • Introduce language through songs, stories and dramatic play
  • Cultivate social skills and positive self-image through group play and cooperative learning across ages
  • Encourage family involvement to help students appreciate the wisdom of their first teachers —their parents/guardians
  • Appreciate diversity of living things and celebrate individuality of children and families.


Our emergent curriculum is a holistic approach to learning. We embrace your child’s ideas and celebrate seasonal outdoor discoveries. With comparable attributes of Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Waldorf approaches, we address the physical, social and emotional skill development of every child.

Activities include:

  • Up-close encounters with live animals
  • Science experiments and use of manipulatives
  • Language, literacy and writing activities
  • Creative arts and music time
  • Interactive puppet play and story time
  • Healthy cooking and food tasting experiences
  • Hands-on math activities
  • Movement and games to promote physical fitness
  • Imagination Stations for self-guided learning

NAEYC Accreditation

The Nature Preschool at Irvine has accreditation through The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our program is proud to have earned NAEYC Accreditation – the mark of quality for early childhood education programs. This makes us the only NAEYC-accredited nature preschool in Maryland, and one of only a handful nationwide.

Is this program right for my child?

Does your child have severe environmental allergies?

Children will be exposed to hay, pollen, animal dander, seeds and other potential allergens. Children must be well enough for vigorous, active, outdoor experiences. “Let’s just stay inside today” to avoid exposure to allergens is not an option! This would significantly limit a child’s involvement in our program and detract from the overall learning environment that we strive to maintain.

Do you and your family support process-based learning?

Our curriculum engages students in the process of building knowledge firsthand. There isn’t always a concrete end product, but students are obtaining new knowledge in a student-centered manner. Many teacher-centered programs support rote methods of “skill-and-drill” and often place greater emphasis on finishing an end product rather than on acquiring knowledge through self-paced activities. Our student-centered, process-based philosophy introduces young students to a lifetime of learning.

Class Scheduling
& Pricing

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Please review our Cancellation Policy.