Farm & Forest Kindergarten (Ages 4-6 years)
- 8:30am – noon (with aftercare available)
- 4-day option, Monday through Thursday
- 5-day option, Monday through Friday
- Limited 2- and 3-day options
*Children turning 5 by June 1st are required to be in a 5-day program in preparation for first grade the following year.
Pre-qualification as an approved Pre-K provider is pending; our goal is to have the program pre-qualified as soon as possible. Contact OVWS or your local elementary school to learn how to apply for funding for 10 hours per week if your child will be 3, 4, or 5 years old on September 1, 2016.
Our 55-acre campus, with apple orchards, fields, woods, and the Kingsbury Branch of the Winooski River serves as the 'classroom' for the Farm & Forest program, regardless of the weather. A large teepee provides a gathering place, and an indoor space is also available as needed.
Days are structured around a seasonal rhythm, incorporating the four elements (earth, air, fire and water), so often the focus of the young child’s curiosity. Activities include nature crafts, story, circle, running, tree-climbing, hiking, engaging in imaginative play, observation and nature exploration. Practical tasks such as food preparation, handwork projects, gardening, and building shelters develop movement, balance, touch, and sense of life–all foundational learning skills. Cooperative games help children learn how to follow directions and respect boundaries. Rhymes, stories, clapping, and counting games enhance the child’s capacity to listen while encouraging a love of language and sense of rhythm–foundational reading and math skills. Finger plays and handwork develop motor skills and improve coordination–foundational skills for later writing.