Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Nature Preschool Program
Schlitz Audubon Nature Preschool is state licensed early childhood education program that helps three, four, and five year-olds learn to love the natural world — and have lots of fun in the process! It is the first nature preschool in Wisconsin, and one of a small but growing number of nature-oriented preschools in the nation.
SANC’s Nature Preschool’s uniqueness stems from a strong commitment to both environmental education and active learning. Based upon seasonal changes, the broad-based curriculum includes art, music, perceptual and cognitive skill development, large and small motor skill development, natural science exploration, and, most important, daily outdoor discovery of the Center’s 185 acres of diverse habitats.
Outdoor experiences are the cornerstone of our Nature Preschool. The children experience the freedom of casual exploration of a seemingly limitless natural world. Mini-adventures occur throughout the Center’s prairie, forests, ponds, marshes and even Lake Michigan’s lakefront. The natural world is used as both theme and material in the education of the whole child.
Early childhood education at SANC goes beyond the preschool, as well. Adult/child classes known as Hand-in-Hand introduce two year-olds and their grown-up companions to the joys of discovering the outdoors and after school programs allow school-age children to continue developing an ongoing relationship with nature. A new outreach program in partnership with five urban preschools helps children and teachers become more comfortable participating in and learning about the natural world. Our goal is to develop a child’s ability to work independently and cooperatively, and to act in a caring and responsible way towards their environment, themselves, and others.
The preschool years offer a unique developmental window of opportunity. We are excited to have the chance to nurture area preschoolers’ hearts and minds, and foster their love of nature — one child at a time.
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