A Little Place to Grow is an outdoor, forest preschool program (or waldkindergärten), designed to build your child’s confidence and develop their natural curiosity and love for learning.
My inspiration for this school came from reading Richard Louv’s eye opening and heartbreaking book “The Last Child in the Woods.” If you haven’t read his book, I highly recommend you do. His ideas about allowing children the chance to explore freely, direct their own play and learning, and have access to the natural world around them made perfect sense to me. Yet, when I began looking at preschool programs for my own children these elements were missing from so many of them.
Located in our family home off of Valley Center Drive, our program provides children with a familiar and comfortable environment to help them transition to spending some time away from mom and dad. Our property is an ideal place to explore and learn; we have fruit trees, bird and bunny nests in the spring, hawks flying over head and a herd of cattle with a Texas Longhorn living in the open space behind our fenced in yard.
By maintaining a small group in a nurturing and predictable environment, children become comfortable enough to start testing their own limits and learn to try and try again.
Further, by allowing them to direct their own play, they learn collaboration and a deepened sense of creativity. Their peers become their teachers, cheerleaders and greatest allis.
Our curriculum is not a complete free-for-all however. We start our day outside, with free undirected play, and then we gather for sharing, story, and snack time. It’s then back to the wild rumpus until lunch!
Each day ends by eating a hot, homemade meal together at the table. By helping prepare meals, serving food and eating alongside their peers, children are more likely to try new foods and develop a love for healthy and nourishing food.
It’s my belief that we should be striving to fill every moment of the day with joy, and that’s what I try to bring to A Little Place to Grow.
If this program sounds like a good fit for your child, summer and fall enrollment is now open! Click the button below to fill out our Parent Survey, and I will contact you directly!
A little about me…I grew up in Alaska and moved to Bozeman to attend MSU where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Human Development. I met my husband here several years ago and now we, along with our two sons (and one dog and one cat), call Bozeman home. I have 10 years of experience working with children along with 6 years working with vulnerable populations in our community including the elderly, homeless and adults with severe mental illness. Caring, teaching, mentoring, and engaging have always been a part of my work.
I am so excited to watch and guide these children as they explore the world around them, gain confidence in who they are, learn from their peers, and continue to grow into amazing young people.
Thank you so much for your interested and I hope to hear from you soon!