Toddler exploring the shallow brook
Children jumping the stream
Child painting in the forest
Adolescents in the fynbos of South Africa
Adolescents doing field science
Adolescents on a winter day

Growing Home Nature Adventures

From experience and research we know a lot about what children and adolescents need, but more than ever we are finding that an essential part of the human experience is a connection to the natural world.


Growing Home Nature Adventures are designed on a few key principles: 

  • People of all ages need time to explore and play outside, there is a magic that exists only in nature. 

  • Children and adolescents crave a sense of place in the world and desire to observe and understand what is around them.

  • Children and adolescents require hands-on experiences with science that engage all the senses to more deeply understand the nature of science as a discipline.

  • When children and adolescents observe, measure, and research the natural world around them, it opens up many opportunities to explore other subjects including art, history, math, geography, culture, and language.

  • Research has shown when people spend time in nature they receive ample physical and mental health benefits including reductions in stress and anxiety.


Growing Home provides a variety of Nature Adventures programs, each targeted at different age groups to ensure programming supports the development of every child.

Nature Adventures programs can be divided into two categories:

1. Caregiver programs where children and caregivers come to explore nature together 

2. Drop-off programs where children of the same developmental stage participate in the program with only Growing Home guides.

 

Caregiver Programs:

Acorns (0-3), Seedlings (3-6), Saplings (6-9), Oaks (9-12), Forest Families (all ages)

Part science lesson and part nature playgroup, these programs are designed on seasonal themes to engage children where they are at. We explore using all our senses and captivate our children using our own excitement and wonder of the natural world. We offer activities that enhance understanding through art, music, poetry, stories, movement and play. As adults we will model curiosity, question asking, and enjoyment being outside. 

However, this is more than just children's nature programming. Adult discussions, that take place alongside children during open nature play, provide support to caregivers on a range of topics based on the children's developmental stage, experience of the caregivers in the group, and participant needs/interests. Some past topics have included: Our Words in the Woods (and at home), Making Nature Part of Your Everyday Routine, Natural Movement: Picking the Right Footwear, and Preparing for a New Baby.

PXL_20211015_152956553_edited.jpg
 

Drop-Off Programs:

Nature Explorers: After School and Summer Programs

PXL_20211103_204352425.jpg

Nature Explorers is designed for children in the 2nd plane of development (ages 6-11, in/or entering grades 1-6). These children are looking for more responsibility and the freedom that goes with it. They are able to stay engaged for longer periods of time on topics and activities that interest them and want to take charge of their learning. They are ready to move on from basic observations to abstraction, thinking more about their community and the world beyond themselves. They are highly concerned with fairness, but also crave collaborative and cooperative learning. 


Nature Explorers is more than just "fun in the woods", it is an experience that appeals to children's senses. It requires them to slow down and take it all in. It asks them to challenge their mind and body. It taps into their inner observer and reinforces the idea that nature is to be marveled at as well as measured. It reminds children that we, humans, are part of nature and we must act as stewards of it. It is not enough to take from nature's resources or rush down its trails without pausing to appreciate the wonder and beauty that surrounds us. Although there will be many opportunities for both!

At the start of the session children will connect with one another and the forest environment. They will explore the land we spend time on as we run, climb and play our way through it, and learn the basics of keeping a nature journal. They will start a list of questions and topics they want to explore during our weekly adventures, and suggest the types of nature art they want to pursue. As the weeks progress children's interests and questions will drive the programming as they gain confidence in the forest, learn new skills, use scientific tools to measure the environment, and dig further into seasonal themes that arise. By the end of the program children will have the opportunity to use consensus building to plan their own forest explorations.

PXL_20211013_200538334.jpg

Find Out More

 
PXL_20211020_193125890.jpg

Program Pricing and Registration

  • Includes all necessary materials and follow-up caregiver supports.

  • Younger and older siblings within 2 years of the age group bracket are welcome to join any of the caregiver experiences if they agree to participate to the best of their ability.

  • For families signing up more than one child in a program, the first child is full price and each additional child is 50% off. Each child should be registered separately.

  • Siblings 2 and under are free for programs not targeted at their age group and do not need to be registered.

  •  If costs are in any way prohibitive, please reach out directly via phone or email.

  • All programs are designed for small groups, so register today on our "Book Services" page.


We can't wait to meet you and help you grow your home to include more nature!