The Riekes Center

The Riekes Center

Santa Cruz Forest School

Tue, Thu, 9:15am - 2:15pm PDT
Oct 27, 2020 - Jun 3, 2021
Ages 3 - 6 yrs 
Santa Cruz, CA
Photo for Santa Cruz Forest School (Nature) by The Riekes Center
Photo for Santa Cruz Forest School (Nature) by The Riekes Center
View dates and holidays (50 classes)


Our Program is modeled after the European Forest Kindergarten. Children enjoy self-directed free play at the NEST in Felton, California. Forest School children often develop a deeper respect and sense of wonder for our environment while cultivating social emotional skills that form a foundation for learning.

We meet outside, rain or shine, as mixed-aged cohorts for children ages 3-6. Siblings are encouraged to attend together when possible. We meet Tuesday and Thursday. Monday add-on is available if enough families are interested in meeting 3 days per week.

Each day varies according to the lead and interest of the children. Our environment provides everything we need to play.

Light integration of materials such as yarn for crafting, nature journals for story dictation and drawing, drums and sound makers, etc., is often available during free play. If your child enjoys writing or drawing, you may send a small notebook and pencil or crayons for their personal use. No other toys are permitted unless the agreement is made with the parent that the item will stay in the backpack.

We may climb and build, craft from what nature offers us, learn to "whittle" a stick using a peeler tool, learn about plants and mushrooms, insects and lizards, salamanders in the winter if we're lucky; we shoot canons from pirate ships and build dinosaur museums in Redwood circles, we play hide and seek in the forest, stomp our feet into puddles, dig holes in the duff, sword fight with sticks, (as long as we're mindful), and turn over stumps to watch the bugs. We're careful with our friends’ bodies and feelings, as well as the tiniest ants and spiders. We think about how the seasons change, and why.

Santa Cruz, CA
645 Toll House Gulch Rd
Felton, CA 95018
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