Image by Annie Spratt

Forest Kindergarten

"Let nature be your teacher" - William Wordsworth

The Program

Our forest kindergarten program is a natural step from our preschool program.  Kindergarteners are immersed in the natural and wild settings of the property, venturing further afield while asking questions.  Learning is emergent (read more), inquiry and play-based.  With a 1:8 ratio, our educators nurture each child's strengths and interests, and guide them through the beautiful and tender kindergarten years.

Our curriculum is guided by the natural world, its seasons, and each child's unique seasons.  When a child indicates curiosity and readiness for literacy and math, our small ratios allow the educator to guide the child on that path on a one-to-one basis. Children are exposed to literacy-based activities and dialogue and tune in when ready. 

The Curriculum

kids playing outside in the mud!

the benefit

Connection to Nature 

Your child will establish a sense of self and a deep connection with the natural world. This will be the foundation for a lifelong relationship of curiosity, healing, and restoration with the natural world.  

Self Regulation 

At HAW, children are not limited in how much they need to spin, swing, jump, run, and climb.  This stimulates their vestibular senses which are directly linked to self-regulation skills. It is important for children to learn the skills that will help them with managing their many emotions.   By monitoring their own thoughts and emotions, children are better able to navigate through the different situations they may encounter throughout their day.

Curiosity & Creativity 

Educators nourish children's curiosity with more questions, guided discovery, and allowing children to sit in wonderment. 

Relationship Building & Management 

Children form relationships with each child and educator and learn to navigate the highs and lows with patient guidance and nurturing from educators.  With a small ratio of 1 educator to 8 children these relationships are authentic. 

Holistic Wellness 

We take a comprehensive approach to children's health applying the bio-pyscho-social model of healthy, balanced, development. The very nature of forest school offers opportunities for improved mental and physical health with the amount of time the children spend outdoors. 

kids exploring outdoors

the details

Hours of Operation

Our Kindergarten program runs from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM with an after-hours program available until 4:00pm.

Program Costs

2021 Rates (subject to change each year)

5 days per week - Mon-Fri

Annual Tuition | $9000 (1 payment) 

Term Tuition | $3300 (3 payments)  

3 Days per week - Mon/Wed/Fri

Annual Tuition | $5951 (1 payment)

Term Tuition | $2088 (3 payments)

2 Days per week - Tues/Thurs

Annual Tuition | $4036 (1 payment)

Term Tuition | $1416 (3 payments)

Deposit: 50% of your first term tuition.  

Program Cycles 

We follow the Bluewater District School Board's Calendar

Commitment is per term:

Fall term: Sept-Dec

Winter term: Jan-Mar

Spring term: April - June

Food & Nutrition 

Students will bring their own lunch and snacks.  When we have a participant/employee/volunteer with a nut allergy, we are a nut-free facility.  At the moment, we have no one with such an allergy and thus we are tree-nut friendly (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc).  We remain peanut free as a cautionary measure.


We include wild edibles and our school gardens into our programming. Kindergarteners love to taste/eat straight from our kitchen garden (herbs, tomatoes, ground cherries, greens).

Location & Facilities 

The school is located at Elephant Thoughts' Kimbercote campus, learn more about the facilities in the About section of the website. 

316362 3rd Line C, Grey Highlands, ON N0C 1G0 (map below) 

Children have access to a thoughtful indoor, licenced facility as well as Elephant Thoughts' 136 acre property with scenic views of the Beaver Valley and plenty to explore.