Forest Friends Series

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The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center’s Forest Friends Series offers early-childhood, nature-based education for children and their parents from age 0 to 5. Each program is designed for specific developmental stages and works to integrate nature into the life of you and your child(ren) from the very beginning.

Nature Babies

ages 0 – 2 years

Tree Tots

ages 18 mos – 3 years

Forest Friends

ages 2 to 5 years

Nature Babies (ages 0 – 2 years)

Connect with your little one and the outdoors during KPNC’s one-of-a-kind Nature Babies classes. Nature Babies is designed to encourage caregivers to take their babies out into the natural world – a world rich with sensory input. Nature provides endless ways to interact with your little one; from traversing trails together, feeling the textures of leaves, playing peek-a-boo with trees, and much more. Once a week caregivers and their nature babies will set out to explore and play in the outdoors.

The classes will be loosely structured with teachers guiding caregivers in ways to learn and connect with their babies and nature. The morning will start with a meet & greet and an introduction to our theme for the week. Then, the class will set out on a short walk together to explore the forest.

Nature Babies classes are held every Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30; and are free for KPNC Members. If you are not a member, you may join HERE, or bring just $5 for the class. Caregivers are welcome to wear their babies, carry them, or push them in a stroller.

Tree Tots (ages 18 mos – 3 years)

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Tree Tots is a nature-based-play class where children are encouraged to use their senses to explore their natural environment and learn together through play. Tree Tots builds on the nature-focused development children and caregivers experience with Nature Babies, but is also excellent for families new to the Forest Friends Series.

Caregivers are a vital part of the Tree Tots experience, fostering their child’s curiosity and helping them explore the great outdoors. Classes are loosely structured with teachers functioning as guides; asking questions to encourage wonder and allowing our Tree Tots to make choices throughout our journey.

Classes will begin with “circle time,” where we will get to know one another with a welcome song and brief discussion. We’ll continue with story time, focusing on the week’s theme, before setting out to play and learn as we go. Tree Tots is connected to and builds the foundation for Forest Friends, the next step in nature-education at the KPNC.

Join the Open House & Playdate on the KPNC Nature Playground to meet the Tree Tots teachers and get to know some of your classmates. Check our calendar – the playdate is always scheduled a few weeks before the start of class.

2020 Tree Tots Schedule

Spring

  • Registration Opens: Feb 10
  • Open House: Mar 6
  • Classes: Mar 19 – Apr 23

Summer

TBD

Fall

  • Registration Opens: Aug 3
  • Open House: Sep 4
  • Classes: Sep 17 – Oct 22

Winter

TBD

Each season (4 times per year), Tree Tots meets every Thursday for 6 weeks. A season is $45 per student for all 6 classes. Membership with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is required. A discount of $5 per student is available for siblings living in the same household.

Forest Friends (ages 2 to 5 years)

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Forest Friends, an award-winning program now in it’s 10th year, offers unique, hands-on, nature-based education at the preschool level for children and their caregivers. This program is the third and final stage in the Forest Friends series, and whether you and your child have followed the entire series, or are just joining us for Forest Friends, the lessons learned here culminate in a meaningful and impactful connection to nature that will last the child’s life.

Forest Friends meets from 9:30 to 11 AM, every Friday for six weeks each spring and fall. Children will learn about a different topic each week of the 6-week session.

Join the Open House & Playdate on the KPNC Nature Playground to meet the Forest Friends teachers and get to know some of your classmates. Check our calendar – the playdate is always scheduled a few weeks before the start of class.

2020 Forest Friends Schedule

Spring

  • Registration Opens: Feb 10
  • Open House: Mar 6
  • Classes: Mar 20 – Apr 24

Fall

  • Registration Opens: Aug 3
  • Open House: Sep 4
  • Classes: Sep 18 – Oct 23

Forest Friends is $45 per student for all 6 classes. Membership with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is required. A discount of $5 per student is available for siblings living in the same household.

All Forest Friends Series classes will be held at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center unless otherwise noted. The nature center is located at 2222 N. College Street near the AU Fisheries and Hwy 280. For more information, visit auburn.edu/preserve, email preserve@auburn.edu, or call 334-844-8091.