Nature Preschool

Nature Preschool offers 3- and 4-year old children a high quality learningMidland Daily News 2022 Readers' Choice Awards environment that meets their developmental needs while initiating them into a life-long, meaningful relationship with the natural world. This program provides 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.
Hulafrog's Most Loved Preschool 2021

Children build their knowledge through their first-hand experiences with nature, classroom materials and their relationships with peers and adults. The HighScope® 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. Classrooms are in the LEED Gold Certified Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker Nature Preschool Center and in the Alden B. Dow-designed Visitor Center.

Please direct questions regarding Nature Preschool to Madison Powell, Nature Preschool Director.


Learn More:

About Nature PreschoolPurpose | Philosophy | Curriculum | Family Handbook | FAQ | How/What We Teach | Play-based Learning

Nature Preschool RegistrationRegistration Packet | Important Dates | Class Schedules | Tuition & Assistance Information

Nature Preschool ResourcesResearch Related to Nature-based Education | Resources | CNC's Nature Preschool Media Coverage




Important Dates for the 2024-25 School Year:

  • Dec 4, 2023 - Registration information available online
  • Jan 2, 2024 - Current and alumni family placement begins
  • Feb 1, 2024 - New family placement begins

2024-25 Nature Preschool Registration Information

2024-25 Nature Preschool Placement Request Form
(Note: Child must be 3 or 4 years old by Sept 1, 2024 to be eligible to attend)

Interested families should submit their class preferences online through the 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.


  • Our Mission Statement
  • Our Philosophy
  • Our Curriculum
  • School Schedule
  • Facility Information
  • Enrollment Policy
  • Registration Form and more!






Nature Education Center - Learn More! Groundbreaking 2024


Building Nature Connections for the Youth of Today and Tomorrow


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