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A new enrichment experience for our youngest community members

Little Seeds Nature Preschool is an incredible enrichment experience for our youngest community members. Students create a lifelong connection to nature by exploring outdoor spaces, learning about nature, and developing relationships through music, art, and play.

2023-2024 registration opens Monday, February 20

Camp St. Croix
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2023–2024 Program Details

Ages 3–5 | Sep 11 – May 24

  • Little Seeds Nature Preschool closely follows the Hudson School District Calendar.
  • Must be potty trained by the first day of class.
  • Guardians must read and agree to our ‘Basic Safety Awareness Skills for Preschoolers’ form.

Full Day (9am – 3:45pm)

  • Mon-Fri – $1,090
  • Mon/Wed/Fri – $720
  • Tues/Thurs – $480

Half Day (9am – 12pm)

  • Mon/Wed/Fri – $360
  • Tues/Thurs – $240
Sample Daily Schedule
  • 9:00–9:15 – Flexible Drop Off + Investigation Station 
  • 9:15 – Welcome 
  • 9:30 – Farm & Garden 
  • 10:45 – Snack 
  • 11:00 – Nature Journals 
  • 11:15 – Adventure Hike*
  • 11:45–12:00 – Flexible Pick Up for Half Day 
  • 11:45–12:15 – Lunch 
  • 12:15 – Peace Time 
  • 1:00 – Storytime 
  • 1:30 – Investigation Stations**
  • 2:00 – Snack 
  • 2:30 – Little Seeds Lead – Outdoor Exploration 
  • 3:30–3:45 – Flexible Pick Up

* Monthly curriculum themes are a focus during our adventure hikes (e.g., Shape and number recognition or letters and sounds).

** Group lesson or project. Art, Science, Math, Working with Tools, Music, etc. 

Camp Ihdhuhapi
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2023–2024 Program Details

Ages 3–5 | Sep 11 – May 24

  • Little Seeds Nature Preschool closely follows the Orono School District Calendar.
  • Must be potty trained by the first day of class.
  • Guardians must read and agree to our ‘Basic Safety Awareness Skills for Preschoolers’ form.

Full Day (8:30 am – 3:45 pm)

  • Mon-Fri – $1,090*
  • Mon/Wed/Fri – $720
  • Tues/Thurs – $480

Full-day preschool families now have the option to add on Extended Care from 3:45–4:30 pm.

  • Mon-Fri – $140/month
  • Mon/Wed/Fri – $80/month
  • Tues/Thurs – $60/month

Half Day (9 am – 12 pm)

  • Mon/Wed/Fri – $360
  • Tues/Thurs – $240

* Mon-Fri families may select any of the extended care options depending on what best fits their needs.

Sample Daily Schedule
  • 8:30–8:45 – Flexible Drop Off 
  • 9:00 – Welcome 
  • 9:30 – Little Seeds Lead – Outdoor Exploration 
  • 10:30 – Snack 
  • 10:45 – Nature Journals 
  • 11:00 – Adventure Hike*
  • Noon – Lunch 
  • 12:30 – Peace Time**
  • 1:15 – Storytime 
  • 1:30 – Investigation Station***
  • 2:30 –Snack 
  • 2:45 – Choose your Adventure & Afternoon Wrap Up 
  • 3:30–3:45 – Flexible Pick Up 
  • 3:45–4:30 – Extended Care (Optional)

* Monthly curriculum themes are a focus during our adventure hikes (e.g., Shape and number recognition or letters and sounds).
**Choices include quiet reflection, reading, rest, or nap.
** Group lesson or project. Art, Science, Math, Working with Tools, Music, etc.  

Frequently Asked Questions
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What to Expect add remove

What should my child bring each day?

Your child should come dressed in weather-appropriate clothing and footwear each day. In their backpack, they should have a water bottle, tennis shoes, and a change of clothes. See below for food requirements.

Do you provide food?

All participants will get healthy snacks during their day. Morning snacks are provided for half-day preschoolers. Full-day preschoolers will receive morning and afternoon snacks.

 

CAMP ST. CROIX (WISCONSIN)

Preschool provides snacks. Student provides lunch

 

CAMP IHDUHAPI (MINNESOTA)

Preschool provides snacks and lunch.

Will my child be ready for kindergarten?

Nature Preschools have the same child development goals as other high-quality preschools, but the curriculum and teachers achieve these goals through nature-based experiences.

At Little Seeds, we take an open-ended approach to promoting child-initiated play. We prepare and develop your child’s foundational skills by instilling an early love of learning through inquiry-led and hands-on approaches. We emphasize curiosity and guide students in finding answers to their questions. Nature Preschool staff know the Wisconsin and Minnesota Early Learning Standards and incorporate opportunities for children to engage in these skills throughout the week.

Our outdoor classroom includes nature-inspired exploration of music, art, science, math, literacy, and dramatic play, and opportunities to practice fine and large motor skills. Time spent at the farm and hiking through various habitats promotes development in observation, self-regulation, and risk assessment. Weekly nature journaling allows for practice in reflection, writing, and drawing. These skills provide an excellent foundation for holistic growth and grade school readiness.
 

What curriculum will you be using?

Little Seeds uses an integrated approach to curriculum. As teachers, we will be facilitators of learning, taking our lead from the interests of our students. We thrive on seasonally-relevant themes, child-led interests, and emergent curriculum. An emergent curriculum evolves directly from what is relevant, engaging, and meaningful to the students. Children can wonder and ask questions about discoveries and observations using an inquiry-based teaching model. It is then the job of the teacher/guide to provide students with materials and hands-on explorative opportunities to form their reasoning and theories. Through interest-led, experiential learning, a deeper understanding takes place that is meaningful to the child. Indoor and outdoor activities are designed to expand on the interests of the children and reflect what is going on in the world around them. Research shows us that if a child is interested in a topic, they will internalize so much more about a subject. 

We believe that all children develop at their own pace and learn through play. Our program is set up to meet those fundamental needs. The most significant benefit our teachers provide is social and emotional support. Due to our small class sizes, teachers can focus on each child’s development. This approach provides "fertile ground" for “root” skills that all of us need to thrive within our communities.

Are there any special eligibility requirements?

We require that all children be independent with their potty skills upon enrollment in the program. Children also need basic safety awareness skills. Please review our ‘Basic Safety Awareness Skills for Preschoolers’ form.
 

What does potty training mean at Little Seeds Nature Preschool?

At Little Seeds, potty trained means; being able to indicate needing to use the bathroom with teacher reminders and support, pulling pants and underwear down and back up with minimal to no support from teachers, wiping independently, getting on and off a full-size toilet with the support of step stools, washing hands with soap and water, and no use of pull-ups during class and rest/nap time.
 

My child has allergies/special dietary needs, can you accommodate them?

If your child has dietary restrictions, please be sure to speak with the teacher and indicate any restrictions/allergies in your registration paperwork. Our nature-focused program requires children to be outside most of their day. Please keep this in mind if your child suffers from severe seasonal allergies.
 

Can your program accommodate children with special needs?

We have an accommodations process that enables us to work with families to determine if we can safely meet the needs of participants. We will discuss possible solutions and determine if we can provide a safe environment that fosters learning and a positive experience for all. 

Is Little Seeds Nature Preschool a licensed childcare program?

 

CAMP ST. CROIX (WISCONSIN)

Little Seeds Nature Preschool and YMCA Camp Daycroix are licensed under the State of Wisconsin childcare licensing standards.

In addition to being licensed through the State of Wisconsin Little Seeds Nature Preschool and Camp St. Croix is accredited by the American Camp Association. As members of the American Camp Association, we are rigorously held accountable on over 300 standards regarding health & wellness, staffing requirements, aquatic and program safety, and more.

At Little Seeds, we value the diversity of experiences our teaching staff holds in various fields, including early childhood education, psychology, social work, environmental science, art, and more. They are certified in CPR and First Aid and have also completed numerous hours of in-service training for preschool.

 

CAMP IHDUHAPI (MINNESOTA)

Little Seeds Nature Preschool and YMCA Camp Ihduhapi are licensed through the Minnesota Department of Health as a Youth Camp. They have an exclusion following the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services under Minnesota State Statue 245A.03 Subd. 2. (a) (18) camps licensed by the commissioner of health under Minnesota Rules, chapter 4630.

In addition to being licensed through the MN Department of Health Little Seeds Nature Preschool and Camp Ihduhapi are accredited by the American Camp Association. As members of the American Camp Association, we are rigorously held accountable on over 300 standards regarding health & wellness, staffing requirements, aquatic and program safety, and more.

At Little Seeds, we value the diversity of experiences our teaching staff holds in various fields, including early childhood education, psychology, social work, environmental science, art, and more. They are certified in CPR and First Aid and have also completed numerous hours of in-service training for preschool.

Is there financial support available?

Yes. As always, we never want to turn anyone away because of their financial situation. Please consider reaching out for financial assistance before choosing to cancel, we want campers to be able to experience a YMCA camp this summer: https://www.ymcamn.org/scholarships
 

What if we choose to withdraw from the program?

Registering for preschool means your child will be enrolled for the entire school year or the year's balance. If a family chooses to withdraw a child from the program, we require a two-week written notice and two-week advanced tuition payment. The registration fee is non-refundable.
 

Can I come for a tour and meet the staff?

Absolutely!

What happens during bad weather?

We embrace the idea that there is no such thing as bad weather! We appreciate that changing weather helps children develop resiliency. When children have dressed appropriately for the weather, they enjoy the rain, snow, and mud just as much as the sunshine.

When the weather does not support an entire session of outdoor learning, we may modify the class in the following ways:

  • Significant Cold/Wind Chill – In significantly cold, we follow a sliding scale of wind and temperature developed by the National Weather Service to determine the appropriate amount of time to spend outdoors. Some winter days may result in shorter outdoor visits or more time spent in the yurt or inside to help balance safety and fun. https://www.weather.gov/safety/cold-wind-chill-chart
  • Storms – In the event of a thunderstorm, we will remain in the classroom for 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or boom of thunder. Time spent inside may include investigation stations, stories, journaling, nature-themed activities, or free play.

I am interested in volunteering or donating needed items to Little Seeds. How can I help?

We are always looking for ways to improve access and experiences for our littlest learners in the community. Quality outdoor gear, wooden toys, child-size tools, gardening equipment, and funds for expansion projects are just a few of the ways you can leave an impact on Little Seeds Nature Preschool for our current and future students and families.

Two young ladies at a climbing course

Making adventure more accessible

The YMCA offers need-based financial assistance to help people access the programs that are important to them.

Here to Help

Have a question or need assistance?