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A Nature Explore Space
A place to connect children’s hearts, minds and bodies to nature through playful exploration in the woods

KinderWoods is a two acre section of open woods for unstructured, hands-on nature play. Within the perimeter of KinderWoods children, ages eight and younger, will find design elements that incorporate nature in ways that support children’s natural interests. The space is designed for child-led play that will foster opportunities for children to value their role as caretakers of nature, experience natural consequences, learn problem solving and discover childhood joy.

What is Child-led Play?

It is letting children explore in their own way, to learn and to grow. Each child follows their own play patterns coded in their body and developing brain, whether they are deeply engrossed in their own world or when interacting and playing with other children. This type of play is extremely beneficial. It is a requirement for developing human beings to unfold as designed.

As adults and guardians of these young 'learning sponges', it is our job to follow their lead, to support them when required or requested, and to watch and wait as they discover, invent and explore.  

Feeling safe is paramount for optimum learning. Each child has their own “readiness-meter”  and it keeps them safe and comfortable to learn. Have patience as each child evaluates a new situation before engaging. Allow each child as much time as it takes for them to feel comfortable to engage in play.

For more guidelines on child-led nature play: http://www.nature-play.co.uk/child-led-play.html

 

What You Will Discover:

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Bone Yard Digging PitImagination

Den BuildingPhysical Play and Imagination

Balance LogsCoordination and Agility

Mud KitchenSensory Play

Willow TunnelConnection and Immersion in Natural Materials

 

willow tunnel at kinderwoods

Children will:

  • Find choice and control in their play

  • Practice problem solving

  • Collaborate with others

  • Use their imagination to pretend endless themes

  • Practice Responsibility

  • Connect to natural elements and environments


Fees:

We encourage a donation to help support the maintenance of KinderWoods

Suggested donation: $5.00/ car

Keepers of the Woods - no donation necessary

rope and pulley bucket at kinderwoods

Hours:

Summer Hours:

Open to Keepers of the Woods
Monday - Friday from 4:00 PM - dusk

Open to the public - donation encouraged
Saturday 8:00 AM - Dusk
Sunday 12:00 PM - Dusk

 

School Year:

Reserved for school programs*
Monday - Friday 9:00-3:00 PM

Open to Keepers of the Woods
Monday - Friday 3:00 PM - Dusk

Open to the public - donation encouraged
Saturday 8:00 AM - Dusk
Sunday 12:00 PM - Dusk

*Homeschool groups should schedule with the office as a school program


Please:

We ask that you sign in each time you visit KinderWoods. When signing in you are assuming risk and helping us capture usage information. This is important as we seek grants and donor support for KinderWoods. Thank you.

Housekeeping:

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  • Parents and guardians please open and always close gates behind you.

  • Please sign in each time you arrive to KinderWoods.

  • Please pick up after yourselves. Trash cans are available at this kiosk and at the shelter.

  • Take the opportunity to teach responsibility and ask children to hang the shovels when finished with play. In the mud kitchen, we ask that you return the mud to the box, wash dishes and stack upside down so as to not collect standing water.

  • A bathroom can be found by exiting the gate near the kiosk and following the fenceline to the left.


Special Events in KinderWoods:

KinderWoods is a fantastic choice for a special event. Please contact the office to confirm reservation dates. Reservations will reserve the shelter for your party’s use, and a staff member will be on site to prepare for and check in with your party as needed. The remainder of KinderWoods will be open for access to other guests.

 

Reservation fees:

$85.00 + $10.00/hour reservation fee

Keepers of the Woods receive a $15.00 discount

*Special events are defined as a gathering of 8 or more non-related children.