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. 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 three hours 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       

Forest School

9:30am-12:30pm for children ages 4 - 7 years old

class size limited to 6 children

2019-2020 Sessions

Thursdays 9:30am-12:30pm; 10 classes  $620/session


2020-2021 Sessions

Tues.days or Thursdays 9:30am-12:30pm; 12 classes $780/session

Fall: September 8 - December 3 

Winter: December 8 - March 11 (will run from 11am-2pm)

Spring: March 16 - June 10

Registration for future classes will open a month before their start date.  Get added to our notification list and we'll remind you when it's time!

Join us for the Spring 2020 session!

Summer Forest

Monday - Friday, 9am-12pm for children ages 3 - 7 years old

class size limited to 10 children

Join us for Summer Forest School!

​Weekly Summer Sessions: 

  • children must be toilet proficient

  • priority is given to children enrolled at PONS for the 2020-2021 school year

  • registration opens to general public mid-February

  • $250 per child, per week

  • Camp will be held at Washington Crossing State Park, New Jersey

WEEK 1: July 6 - 10

WEEK 2: July 13 - 17

WEEK 3: July 20 - 24

WEEK 4: July 27 - 31

WEEK 5: August 3 - 7

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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