Our Pedagogy

Star Child Nature School teaches using an outdoor environment and natural materials rather than worksheets and walls.
We take a gentle approach to learning; meeting children where they are yet providing experiences that encourage growth. We believe children should have ample time to play freely fostering independence, imagination and social-emotional development.

Nature School

Fully immersive outdoor play develops not only the five senses (hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smell) but all eight which include the vestibular system (body movement), proprioception (body awareness) and interoception (condition of the body).
Each of which is needed for young children to thrive.

"Nature School" or "Nature-Based Education" is an approach to learning that is child-led and educational goals are met through experiences in nature.
Connecting children with the natural world fosters compassion and reverence while participating in purposeful activities builds self-confidence and independence.
Environmental education, fostering a respect for and a curiosity about the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and developing all domains of the child (physical, social, emotional, cognitive, aesthetic and spiritual) through multi-sensory experiences are at the heart of our program.

Whole child development

Fine motor Skills

Fine motor skills are developed using natural elements that also encourage imaginative play.

Scientific mind

Discovering a box turtle in the woods promotes observation
and artistic opportunities.

Sensory development

Scissor skills can be practiced using unconventional materials that offer a variety of textures requiring greater manipulation.

Letters and Lines, Numbers and Nature are brought together through Multi-Sensory Experiences

Letter and number

Letter and number recognition are done with objects such as bricks to encourage fine and gross motor skills.

math skills

Offering a variety of materials allows for creativity both academically and imaginatively.

writing skills

Line and letter writing in mud incorporates a lesson in both science and literacy.

Real Life Experiences and a Sense Of Accomplishment


Using a hammer and nails builds strength, hand-eye coordination and perseverance.


Sawing a fallen branch can bring a sense of purpose and pride while fostering concentration.


Loose parts play offers the opportunity to build, create, overcome challenges and problem solve.

Artistic opportunities vary from both open-ended to purposeful


Weaving fosters hand-eye coordination, math concepts and fine motor skills.

New perspectives

Free painting can be done on anything from trees, bark and leaves to bricks and wood stumps, each bringing a new perspective and feel to artwork.


Creating useful items that can be worn or used promotes pride and a sense of accomplishment.

One of the biggest components of Star Child is to encourage a relationship with native insects and wildlife, not only to discover the natural world and its wonders, but to plant the seeds of patience, empathy and compassion


A favorite activity is discovering


The excitement of the find is soon
replaced by the compassion of gently handling something so much smaller than ourselves.

a special place

Nature lets us be a part of something bigger than ourselves. It lets us feel special.

Imaginative play

Open ended materials, those that do not dictate what they do or look like, encourage creative play.

social-emotional skills

Structures are offered that invite imaginative play such as with the creation of this bug house.

Real Materials

Simple but sturdy bakeware and bowls take the place of plastic toys.

What does a nature based program teach young children?

Children are children, not little adults, and should be treated as such. All children should be allowed the opportunity to grow, explore, discover, create, imagine, feel and thrive in nature.

  • Compassion
  • Control
  • Patience
  • Sympathy
  • Forgiveness
  • Wonder
  • Resiliency
  • Empathy
  • Confidence 
  • Respect
  • Understanding
  • Awe

"The world doesn't want to be saved, it wants to be loved. That is how we save it."
April Peerless

We understand that when asked,  "What did you do at school today" the children will (thankfully) answer, "Played".

In order to keep parents abreast of activities and promote discussion, we send our families photos weekly.