Forest Preschool

Creatures in the Wild presents Syracuse's first Forest Preschool! This is a drop-off program for potty-trained children ages 3 to 6. Each week we will meet at the Woodchuck Hill Field and Forest Preserve in Manlius, where we have our own nature classroom. Amongst the trees, fields, and marsh the children will learn and grow, prepping them for their educational journey. 

Topics and skills we will cover in Nature Preschool:

  • Local ecosystems and how they function.
  • Kindergarten prep, colors, numbers and more!
  • Fine and gross motor skills will be developed through unstructured play. 
  • Independent and critical thinking skills. 
  • How to interact with their peers
  • Expanding their creative thinking and problem solving with art and engineering projects.

Times and Fees 

Classes will run 8:30-11:30 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with a choice of 2 or 3 days a week.


Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays

One day a week $90 per month

Two days a week $175 per month

Three days a week $250 per month

Class fees must be paid before the start of the month. Discounts will be made for paying for the semester in advance.


All classes are held at the Woodchuck Hill Field & Forest Preserve in Manlius, NY. This is a CNY Land Trust Property that they graciously let us use!

Key Principles

Nature Immersion

We believe that all humans have the necessity to spend ample time in nature. The forest is by nature a sensory friendly place which heightens and awakens all five senses. Spending time outdoors in the forest can have a calming and healing effect on overstimulated and over scheduled children.

Emergent Curriculum

Class leaders are trained to observe children’s interactions and discover what the group is interested in, what they are passionate about. Leaders then bring information and projects into the class space to help fuel the children’s natural curiosity and drive to learn. In this way the students are learning in an organic, fun way that will surely stick in their memories much better than any pre planned, product based curriculum. 

Small Class Sizes

A small group of 12 children and 2 teachers allows more one on one time with each child. Questions can be answered and all safety concerns are addressed.

Reggio-Emilia Inspired Documentation

Pictures and notes will be taken during classes to document what the child has done and how they describe it. At the end of the year a storybook presentation will be given to the parent to show how their child has progressed through the class. These books encourage the children to feel pride in seeing how far they have come and what they have learned and created, leading to a boost in self-confidence.


Other Information

We are an all-weather school which means we will be outside no matter what the weather is like (however, we realize this is Syracuse so we will have limited time outside when it falls below 20 degrees) . Like they say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” There will be multiple information sessions about how to dress children before school starts! For safety we will follow the Syracuse City School Districts snow days.

Registration for 2018 to 2019 is now open! Click the link below for more information.