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Treehouse Forest Preschool

We are now accepting registrations!

Who We Are:
Treehouse Forest Preschool is a collaborative project between the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and Clubhouse Child Care, a longstanding non-profit childcare organization in Kelowna. It is located within Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park, a park designated for conservation of wild animals and their habitat. The RDCO has teamed up with Clubhouse Child Care to provide children in our community the opportunity to learn about nature through concrete experiences and to build a meaningful connection to our forests.  

What We Offer:
We provide a fully outdoor, nature-based preschool program. Our curriculum is play-based, child-lead, experiential, and immersive. Children are provided with opportunities to explore, grow, and learn in all developmental domains within our fenced forested space in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park and throughout the park. 

Children build forts, catch bugs, notice differences in plants, and observe the way the seasons change the land. We provide opportunities for children to engage in STEM projects, ECO-Art, and dramatic play, and provide literacy and numeracy activities. We gather around our “campfire” for oral stories, discussions about aspects of nature, and songs. The outdoors naturally provides conditions for children to work together, imagine, create, build, and learn, all disguised as play. Our curriculum emerges from the children’s interests and experiences. Educators use inquiry-based teaching styles to encourage wonder, curiosity, critical thinking, and observation. Our goal is to provide our children with immersive experiences in a safe forest environment where they can learn about nature and build a connection with our Earth.

Our curriculum and Position Statement on Outdoor Play are based on a growing body of research from around the world. There are numerous benefits to increasing the amount of time children spend outside in active free play. The forest “classroom” provides opportunities for incidental learning, and an optimum platform for cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Free play outside improves risk analysis, observation skills, future academic performance, and most importantly: lowers stress and connects children to the natural world.  

We endeavor to promote wonder, curiosity, and connection.

Registration

Registration is now open for:

  • Pre-K class for 4/5 year olds. 12:30 – 3:00 pm Monday –Friday. Families may pick which days of the week they’d like and register only for those days. 
  • Spring classes, March 30 – June 19th
  • Preschool class for 3/4 year olds. 9:00-11:30 Monday and Wednesday mornings. 
  • 2020-21 School Year Beginning in September 2020
  • Pre-K class for 4/5 year olds. 12:30 – 3:00 pm Monday –Friday. Families may pick which days of the week they’d like and register only for those days.

Field Trips:
Preschools, Daycares, School groups, and home-school groups are invited to schedule a field trip to Treehouse Forest Outdoor Classroom. The lead teacher works in partnership with field trip educators to offer the day’s program. $10 per student, no extra charge for staff and parents. Snack included. Repeat visits are strongly encouraged. 

FAQs:

Why an outdoor preschool?
Outdoor play and education has many benefits including, but not limited to: 

  • Improved physical, emotional, and mental health
  • Increased development of problem solving skills
  • Increased development of communication and social skills
  • Incidental learning opportunities are especially frequent
  • Children experience feeling of freedom and an increased sense of peace
  • Education outdoors is inherently hands-on and experiential, which makes learning more relevant to children and more likely to be remembered
  • Children are immersed in a natural environment and have the opportunity to learn from and develop a meaningful connection with the forest. 

What is the cabin used for?
The cabin is used to store our toys, tools, materials, and equipment for the outdoor preschool. There are also two bathrooms and sinks to wash hands. The cabin has a kitchen where the day’s snacks will be prepared and stored. It is also available to us if needed for safety reasons such as a lightning storm or a dangerous animal outside. 

What should we bring each day?
Children will need adequate clothing, outerwear, and footwear for the weather. A detailed list will be sent home each season to help you prepare your child for preschool. Children will also need to bring a full water bottle, a spare change of clothes, and an adventurous spirit! 

What food will be served?
A simple, nutritious snack will be served during preschool. Examples: apples, cheese slices, and whole-wheat crackers; or carrot sticks, orange slices, and muffins. Families should plan to feed children breakfast or lunch before class so children are ready to play and learn when they arrive. 

What about encounters with wild animals?
All educators at Treehouse Forest Preschool have wildlife safety training and are experienced with wildlife safety procedures to manage encounters with wild animals and to ensure your child’s safety. The cabin is available for use in the event we need to move the children indoors for safety reasons. In the unlikely event that a large wild animal such as a bear is seen near the preschool, parents will be notified that class will be cancelled for that day. 

What if the weather is poor?
Weather such as rain, snow, and moderate cold are viewed as components of an outdoor classroom and often lend to the whole experience. It is important that children have the appropriate clothing and gear to have an optimal learning experience and to enjoy themselves in almost any weather. In the event of more extreme or unsafe weather such as lightning, the outdoor preschool will be closed, or moved indoors while the storm passes. 

Questions about the Preschool Classes?

Contact:

Kate Vigue
Treehouse Forest Preschool Teacher
The Clubhouse Child Care Center

kvigue@clubhousechildcare.com

(250)860-4393

 Ready to Register your child?

Contact:
Alison Barker
Operations Manager
The Clubhouse Child Care Center
839 Sutherland Avenue
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 5X4

abarker@clubhousechildcare.com

250-860-4393

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A daily nutritious snack is included in all classes.

Please Contact Us at 250-860-4393 for more information or to register.