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Over 60 Years of Community Service 


Children 3.5 to 7 years of age have the opportunity to spend time exploring the forest, developing their confidence, and laying the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of nature.
We spend 95-100% of our days outdoors, enjoying the seasons no matter the weather!
This drop-off program gives children a chance to experience place-based education, encouraging them to love the process of learning while in an outdoor setting.

Fill out an interest form to have our Forest School Director get in contact with you!
2023-2024 Interest Form for Afternoons

Interested in Forest School but have children too young for our school year offerings? Try our new Family Forest School program! This 90 minute program will allow children and their caregivers time to explore at the pace of young children and become immersed in the environment. Each week we will set out to visit some of our favorite Forest School play spots and engage in developmentally appropriate nature exploration and experimentation. Our play will be hands-on, messy, and fun!

To sign up for this event, please register your child/caregiver duo by July 6th, 2023!

Any questions about the program can be directed to Amanda Schuster, Forest School Director.

Tenafly Nature Center Forest School Mission:

Our mission is to inspire a lifelong connection to nature through child-centered learning experiences in the outdoors.

Tenafly Nature Center’s Forest School Philosophy

Children learn through meaningful play experiences. TNC Staff promote this style of learning by:

  • Creating a safe and supportive atmosphere grounded in anti-bias education principles, allowing children, parents, and staff to develop a strong community focused on a mutual love of nature.
  • Allowing opportunities for whole-child development where children engage in age-appropriate risks and expand their confidence and sense of curiosity.
  • Facilitating hands-on experiences such as nature exploration and experimentation, leading children to reflect and reason through their experiences.
  • Providing ample time for free-play and recognizing that children require freedom from adults to form meaningful connections with their peers and the environment.
  • Developing a sense of initiative; children are seen as co-learners who work with teachers to develop the activities and flow of the day.

"Absolutely wonderful nature space and their Forest Preschool program is truly a gem! Our son attended the Spring session and it was one of the best decision we have ever made. The teachers are attentive, gentle, kind, and very knowledgeable, and made each class fun and informative. The kids get to explore nature, learn about bugs, plants, frogs, and each other! The outdoor classroom lends itself to creativity and freedom. The trails at the Nature Center are well maintained and beautiful, year round! Highly recommend visiting the Nature Center, and definitely look into the Forest Preschool if you have a child between 3-5 years old! You will not regret it!!"

What does skill development look like in Forest School?

  • Physical: Climbing, jumping, running, hiking, digging, shelter building, building a snowman, tool use
  • Cognitive: Literacy through print materials; language development through nature observation; math skills through measurement, counting, comparing, and estimating
  • Social-emotional: Dramatic play, working in teams, games, storytelling, conflict resolution
  • Environmental: First-hand experiences of seasonal and weather phenomena, connection to the local ecosystem, ability to identify local organisms, care of living things

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