Nature Center Preschool – Frequently Asked Questions

What types of classroom activities will be available for my child?”

  • Active exploration that fosters children’s natural curiosity
  • Inviting opportunities in the out-of-doors that develop an enthusiasm for learning.
  • Sensory experiences to help heighten children’s awareness of the world around them
  • Multi-sensory arts, crafts, and cooking activities encourage experimentation, discovery, and independence.
  • Opportunities to dictate stories and create charts, books, or letters imparting environmental education into language, math, and art.
  • Cooperative playtime strengthens children’s social skills, supports emotional development, and builds confidence.

What is the role of families in the Nature Center Preschool program?

  • A high-quality preschool program involves the family. We welcome families, encourage suggestions, and value your feedback!
  • Visits to your child’s class are welcomed!
  • Nature Center Preschool welcomes all families and celebrates the many cultures represented in our Y community.

How can I get more involved? Family Advisory Council

  • Our Family Advisory Council is made up of volunteers from Nature Center Preschool families who serve as liaisons between families and teachers.
  • Council members are invited to regularly scheduled meetings to discuss ideas for enhancing the preschool and share feedback from families.
  • Our dedicated volunteers also provide input regarding local community needs, guidance for preschool fundraising activities and embrace the mission and philosophy of the Nature Center Preschool, South Shore YMCA Natural Science Center, and the South Shore YMCA.
  • We strongly encourage families to be involved in fundraisers that contribute to scholarships and equipment for the Preschool, to the Science Center as a whole, as well as the South Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign.

Why is it important for my preschooler to learn about nature?

  • Research shows that children who have opportunities for free play in nature have greater higher-level thinking skills that include planning, organizing, sequencing, and decision making.
  • The outdoors is less restrictive on gross motor play and creativity affording open-ended and imaginative play experiences.
  • Direct encounters in nature stimulate all the senses, create opportunities for assessing observations about the environment where children live and play, and create a sense of interconnection with the natural world.
  • Whether children are collaborating during field exploration, walking the South Shore Natural Science Center trails in search of underground animal homes, planting seeds in our Children’s Garden, or listening for frogs near our vernal pools, students are essentially strengthening their whole development.
  • Through a combination of Nature Center Preschool classroom and outdoor experiences, children will build skills for lifelong learning.