Kootenay Nature Kids takes place in the forest behind Canyon-Lister Elementary School and is a partnership with the Creston Kids Outside Society and CLES’s Ready, Set, Learn Preschool program.
The program runs for children ages 3-5. The classroom is 2.5 acres of fenced-in forest and trails, with a tipi for shelter and home-base. The program takes place Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-12:00, rain, shine or snow! The children come dressed to play in any weather condition (excepting high winds, severe cold or thunderstorms).
Children participate in nature-based games, activities, stories, crafts, and exploration of the forest. On any given day, they might hunt for bugs, observe bird life, run on the trails or use their magnifying glasses to inspect plants and insects closely. Nature Kids is an exceptional opportunity for children to develop fitness, gross motor skills, resilience and social-emotional skills as they engage in unstructured play together, collecting leaves, inventing games and concocting recipes in the mud kitchen.
The program is led by professional educators with years of experience working with children, and a team of dedicated community volunteers.
Here is an article about the program in the May 2, 2019 newspaper: https://www.crestonvalleyadvance.ca/news/council-learns-about-kids-outside/