Ijams Nature Center will host in-person and virtual 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 Saturdays, Feb. 27 and March 6, from 2-5 p.m. at the Ijams Miller Education Building, 2915 Island Home Ave. In-person events will follow COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure everyone stays safe.
Virtual open houses are Thursdays, Feb. 25 and March 11, from 6-7 p.m. All events are listed on the Ijams Calendar of Events
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 meet Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
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.
Ijams also is offering eight consecutive weeks of Nature Preschool Day Camp starting June 7. Camps run from 9 a.m. to noon and feature a new theme each week. Info here.
Amber Parker is executive director of Ijams Nature Center.