Ijams to host preschool preview

Jay FitzOur Town Kids, South Knox

Ijams Nature Center will host in-person open houses for families interested in learning more about the full-time Ijams Nature Preschool and the new part-time Ijams Nature Play Club.

In-person open houses are Thursday, April 22, from 10 a.m-noon and Thursday, May 20, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Ijams Miller Education Building, 2915 Island Home Ave. The events will follow Covid-19 safety protocols to ensure everyone stays safe.

Classes start Monday, Aug. 9. The Ijams Nature Preschool meets Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and focuses on child-led, age-appropriate, experiential learning. Children ages 3-5 spend more than 50% of their time outdoors.

The new Ijams Nature Play Club follows the same model for ages 3-5, but is 100% outdoors. Classes have been held on Mondays and Wednesdays, but will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for the 2021-2022 academic year

Both programs blend traditional education standards with the opportunity to learn about and explore the natural world. Children spend the majority of their time outdoors, where they learn through play, discovery and inquiry. Activities focus on sensory experiences with live animals, natural objects, artifacts and art materials.

The programs encourage curiosity, cognitive growth and motor skills through unstructured, child-led outdoor adventures. Children build problem-solving, math and engineering skills through hands-on experiences, and cultivate social skills through group play and opportunities for cooperative learning.

For more information about the Ijams Nature Preschool and Ijams Nature Play Club, visit ijams.org/nature-preschool or ijams.org/nature-play-club. Questions and requests for private tours should be directed to administrator Leslee Moore at 865-679-5491 or preschool@ijams.org.

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