Our Nature Kindergarten Program
Hardwood/Rowan Tree Nature Kindergarten is a Waldorf-inspired, play- and place-based educational program for ages 4-5 yrs. This program is designed to support the development of the whole child (head, heart, and hands) through nature immersion, unstructured flow learning, child-inspired emergent curriculum, an inquiry-based teaching style, imaginative play, and creative and artistic experiences.
Teachers are mentors, guides and role models, actively embodying curiosity, gratitude, reverence, wonder, and engagement in nature.
Your child will benefit from a warm, nurturing learning environment that puts nature and the child at play at the centre of learning. With no predetermined curriculum, lesson plans flow organically from what nature presents and from the children’s interests. Teachers are mentors, guides and role models, actively embodying curiosity, gratitude, reverence, wonder, and engagement in nature while allowing children to engage through imitation and leading their own learning from the inside out.
Following the Forest and Nature School principles, children and educators build a relationship with the land through regular and repeated access to the same natural spaces over an extended period. Children will experience the richness of each changing season through sensory perception, sounds, light, colour, scent and textures of the natural world. They will have the chance to find joy and build confidence by connecting with each other and the environment, engaging in new activities, and observing and learning about nature as it surrounds them.
Depending on the season and the weather, you can expect 20-30% of the day to be spent in a Waldorf-inspired classroom. The classroom environment is intentionally arranged and filled with beautiful nature sourced materials that inspire and encourage children to work together, build social skills through self-directed play. Teachers will also lead the children into a more imaginative, creative time through singing, storytelling, drama and gross motor and fine motor creative activities. Hands on activities include painting, clay modelling, sewing, finger knitting, baking, building and wood working.