Sprouts Outdoor Guided Toddler & Caregiver Experiences

Sprouts in the Fall

Wednesdays, 9:15 - 10:45 am
6-week session
 | August 25 - September 29


Program is held outdoors at the Stryker Nature Preserve, 2343 Angling Road, Kalamazoo

Fee per session: $130 per family (1 caregiver and up to 2 children from the same household). Limited to 10 families. Financial assistance is available. 

This popular program for young children, 3 years and under, and a caregiver, will meet at the Stryker Nature Preserve on Angling Road (adjacent to Nature’s Way Preschool) to explore, nurture artistry, climb, get messy, observe, build, sing, and tell stories while fostering an early love of nature. Led by an experienced Nature’s Way teacher with multiple early childhood degrees, each session will have a small group size of 10 families. These loosely-structured outdoor sessions will allow for a mix of guided and open-ended experiences. All relevant health and safety guidelines for outdoor activities will be observed. Participants will be supported to engage in ways that feel safest for their family.

We recognize there is significant variability in what families in our community are able to afford. This reality is only growing due to the impacts of COVID-19. Financial assistance is available and can be applied for by answering a few simple questions during the registration process.

Contact Nature’s Way Sprouts Coordinator, Lindsey Homan, at lhoman@naturecenter.org for questions on the program.

Sprouts in the FallPROGRAM

9:15 - 9:30 Hello, Hopes & Story

9:30 - 10:30 Hike, activities, explore, snacks as requested (provided by families)

10:30 - 10:45 Family Journal Time & Goodbyes

Meet Mrs. Homan

Lindsey Homan

Lindsey Homan, Nature's Way Sprouts Coordinator

Lindsey is a Nature's Way Preschool teacher with over 15 years experience with young children and their families.  She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education with teacher licensure from National Louis University as well as a Master of Science in Child Development from the Erikson Institute.  She and her husband Kevin have two little ones, Teddy, a Nature's Way Preschool student, and Katie, an infant.  Her experience and enthusiasm for working with toddlers launched the idea for the Sprouts program, bringing the beauty and wonder of nature to our youngest learners.    


Topics to Explore

Each session will focus on:

Physical Maturation & Wellbeing  |  Multiple opportunities to coordinate the use of big and small muscles within the embrace of nature.

Language Development  |  Using authentic, personal, and natural experiences to encourage language production for the simple joy of expressive and connective purposes.

Creative Experiences  |  Experiencing the influence of nature’s beauty and the joy of community to experiment with artistic expression.

Social & Emotional Development  |  Blending encounters of wide open spaces with captivating moments of tiny wonder to give outlet to both the tenacity and tenderness of toddlerhood.

Executive Function  |  Using the power of attachment to reinforce skills that foster poised, capable, and empathetic human beings.

Cognitive Growth  |  Exploratory play in the outdoors naturally creates opportunities for children to question, investigate, problem solve, and reflect on their experiences. 

Financial Aid Guidelines

To be considered for financial aid through the Kalamazoo Nature Center, please fill out the questions listed during the Nature's Way Sprouts registration process. Your tuition will be discounted if you meet the following guidelines.  Please email Lindsey at lhoman@naturecenter.org with questions.

Household Size Household Income At or Below
2 $40,000
3 $45,000
4 $50,000
5 $55,000
6 $60,000
7 $65,000
8 $70,000
Each additional family member, add: $10,000