This fall, Learning Tree Farm Nature Preschool was named “A Best in Ohio” Connect to Nature School. This award was a combined program led by Miami Valley No Child Left Insideand Dayton Regional Green. Through the efforts of Sarah Lamont, one of our Nature Preschool teachers, we documented all of our outdoor learning and qualified for this exciting program!

Our Nature preschool encourages children and families to be physically active and play outside every day to grow up healthy. We commit daily to connect with nature through free time exploration of the outdoors and of Ohio’s natural habitats. Not only do we spend hours outside every day with the children exploring the farm habitat, but the staff creates and encourages families to find activities around the Miami Valley that honor the patterns and cycles in nature such as winter hikes, spring animal babies, summer creeking, and autumn harvests.  We also encourage camping together and with our own families.  Giving back to our environment is built into our daily life as we compost, reduce, reuse, and recycle with the children.  Our older children also learn the concept of Leave No Trace as we hike and move through our world.

While these are important designations, the true honor is to watch the children in our care observe, explore, and make connections each day. This winter, we won’t stop those connections; Nature Preschoolers don’t hibernate!  While much of the farm winds down, the nature preschoolers will explore the mud and snow for signs of animals.  We’ll discuss animal homes and will work with the children to make our own den on one of the farm’s hiking trail.  The children have decided to call this new area our “Nature Lab.”  It will serve as another base of operations; a place to rest, share a story, look at our findings, and work on our letters and numbers, before hiking back to school.

We are so fortunate to spend our days in sun, mud, snow, and rain with some of our region’s future nature community leaders!  Big thanks to No Child Left Inside and Dayton Regional Green for the recognition and to our farm families as they continue to support us in getting outside every day!

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