Forest School

"Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls." 
                                      ~ Erin Kenny
                                      Founder of Cedarsong Nature School
In the fall of 2014, Painted Oak Nature School became the first preschool in Mercer county, NJ to offer a nature immersion program inspired by the waldkindergartens of Germany. And now going into our 9th year, having been recently registered as a private school, PONS is the first elementary school in the state to include a Forest School model at the heart of its work. Research continues to support that connecting children to the natural world benefits their bodies, minds, and spirits. 

Forest School begins once the children have geared up and shopped for tools, nature journals, field guides, or art supplies on the forest shelves. We leave school, walk through our Backyard, and organize ourselves at the trailhead. With a gentle song, following the hike line, we enter Gnome Woods with owl eyes on and fox ears open all the way to Base Camp.

 

During the time our classes spend in the forest, any, or all, of the following is enjoyed:

     - climbing trees          - creating Earth arts           - listening to birds             - tracking animals      - nature journaling             - building shelters             - playing games         - wild edible snacks with pine needle tea       

Summer Forest School

Monday - Friday

9am-12pm for children ages 3 - 4 years old @ Painted Oak

9:30am-12:30pm for children ages 5 - 10 years old @ Washington Crossing Park

class size limited to 10 children with 2 adult guides

  • Camp will be held at the Painted Oak campus from 9am-12pm for 3-4 year olds and at Washington Crossing Park from 9:30am-12:30am for 5-10 year olds.

  • Children must be toilet proficient

  • Priority is given to children enrolled at PONSregistration opens to general public mid-February

  • 100% outside, in all weather

  • Masks are not required outside however it is highly recommended that your child wear a face covering when close to other children.  If we need to come inside the building at any point, due to hazardous weather, children will be required to wear masks.

  • Our complete COVID19 protocols can be found here.

Weekly Summer 2021 Sessions

$275 per child, per week

Week 1: July 5 - July 9

Week 2: July 12 - July 16

Week 3:   July 19 - July 23

Week 4: July 26 - July 30

Week 5: August 2 - August 6

Week 6: August 9 - August 13

Forest School Immersion (afternoon enrichment)

1pm-3pm for children ages 3 - 6 years old

class size limited to 10-12 children with 2-3 adult guides

2020-2021 Sessions

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays , AND/OR Friday afternoons

WINTER: 

Monday: December 21 - March 1 ($400 for 8 classes)

Tuesday: December 1 - March 2 ($650 for 13 classes) SESSION IS FULL

Wednesday:  December 9 - March 3 ($550 for 11 classes) SESSION IS FULL

Thursday: December 17 - March 11 ($550 for 11 classes) SESSION IS FULL

Friday: December 18 - March 5 ($500 for 10 classes)

SPRING:

12 classes, $600 per session

Monday: March 8 - June 7

Tuesday: March 9 - June 1

Wednesday:  March 10 - June 9

Thursday: March 18 - June 10

Friday: March 12 - June 4

If you are interested in registering for one of our open days that are in session, please reach out to enrollpons@gmail.com for the registration link.

If a day you wanted to register for is full sign up for the waitlist here!

  • children must be fully toilet proficient

  • children enrolled in the morning Nature Preschool at PONS may register in addition to children who do not regularly attend Nature Preschool

  • 100% outside, in all weather

  • Masks are not required outside however it is highly recommended that your child wear a face covering when close to other children.  If we need to come inside the building at any point, due to hazardous weather, children will be required to wear masks.

  • Our complete COVID19 protocols can be found here.

Registration for our Spring session will open in early February.

a school for children who are serious about dirt and squirmy things

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© 2018 by Painted Oak Nature School

174 Lambertville Hopewell Road 

Hopewell, New Jersey  08525

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