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

Winter:  January 9 - March 12 (will run from 11am-2pm)

Spring:  March 26 - June 4

2020-2021 Sessions

Tues., Thurs., or Fri. 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!

Summer Forest

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

class size limited to 10 children

​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 in March

$250 per child, per week

Thanks for a great camp season! Registration for Summer 2020 begins in January

Apply for the Winter 2020 Session

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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