Chippewa Nature Center is pleased to offer a nature-based preschool, one of only about 20 others in the country when it first began in 2007. Classes take place in the LEED Gold Certified Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker Nature Preschool Center and in the Alden B. Dow-designed Nature Study Building. Nature Preschool offers 3- and 4-year old children a high quality learning environment that meets their developmental needs while initiating them into a life-long, meaningful relationship with the natural world.
Nature Preschool offers discovery-based learning through play, sensory, gross and fine motor activities and creative expression, using the natural world as a catalyst for children’s growth and development. The curriculum includes art, music, social and cognitive skill development and natural science exploration. The children regularly hike to wooded areas, ponds, fields, and the Homestead Farm. Children build their knowledge through their first-hand experiences with nature, classroom materials and their relationships with peers and adults.
Please direct questions regarding Nature Preschool to Madison Powell, Nature Preschool Director.
Dec 1, 2017 – 2018-19 registration information packets available
Jan 8, 2018 – Placement for current and alumni families begins
Feb 1 – Placement for new registrations begins, then on an ongoing basis until filled
NEW THIS YEAR! Interested families should submit their class preferences online through the 2018-2019 Nature Preschool Placement Request Form. Registrations received prior to the placement date will be pooled and children will be placed in sessions by lottery. Registrations received after the placement date will be placed in the order they are received based on availability of sessions.
Registration & Scheduling
- Our Mission Statement
- Our Philosophy
- Our Curriculum
- School Schedule
- Facility Information
- Enrollment Policy
- Registration Form
- and more!
|Tues, Thurs||Morning||3 year olds only|
|Mon, Wed, Fri||Morning||3 & 4 year olds|
|Mon, Tues, Wed||Afternoon||3 & 4 year olds|
|Mon-Thurs||Morning||3 & 4 year olds|
|Mon-Thurs||Afternoon||4 year olds only|
About Nature Preschool
Benefits of going outside and experiencing nature
Nature Deficit Disorder and the Health of our Children
- Early Childhood and Nature-based Preschools
Michigan Great Start to Quality 5-Star Rating
Nature Preschool has consistently earned a 5-star rating, the highest rating possible, on the Michigan Great Start to Quality rating system, effective 2016-18. Of 122 childcare providers in Midland County, only three have received a 5-star rating. Great Start to Quality helps parents find the best early learning settings for their children, and helps providers and educators improve the care they give to children. Providers are evaluated on a 5-star rating system that covers five key areas of quality which include: staff qualifications and professional development, family and community partnerships, administration and management, environment, and curriculum and instruction. Visit greatstarttoquality.org to learn more about the rating system.
Attention Preschool Educators!
May 30-June 1, 2018
This three-day workshop will provide preschool educators the information and skills to incorporate nature-based concepts into daily preschool routines while maintaining the integrity of their best practice curriculum. Learn more about the event in 2017