Farm & Nature School for Children
"Come play outside with me,
where the tall grass grows, and the fishes swim.
Where there's endless creative possibilities!
Come play outside with me.
Where the seeds sprout, and the buds hibernate,
where endless snow fights await!
Come play outside with me."
What is Farm & Nature School? Read about it here!
Note on the Investment Cost:
All programs are non-refundable and no credits can be given at this time; but if you are unable to attend after registration is completed, we invite you to transfer your spot to someone of your choice. Please advise us if this should be the case.
We have payment plan options available. Please reach out to discuss further.
A full refund will be given in the event that a program is cancelled due to insufficient registration.
Options will be given should the program have to be altered due to Covid-19 Provincial restrictions.
Our programs take place in the Nature, based on the notion that there is no such thing as bad weather. Therefore, our programs run rain, shine or snow. We ask that you watch for the day's weather conditions and dress accordingly before making your way.
In case of severe weather storms, the event will be postponed to a later date. All participants will be contacted in advance.
WINTER & SPRING 2024 PROGRAMS
Our upcoming programs will be announced before the end of 2023.
If you would like to be kept in the know, please send us an email, HERE, to be added to our list.
FALL 2023 PROGRAMS
Farm & Nature School
Fox & Cubs NEW Program
We are so excited to announce our first ever parent & tot program at the Farm!
This program offers a taste of experience of Nature & Farm School, accompagnied by caregiver, facilitated by us!
Wednesdays | September 20, 2023 to October 11, 2023
4 - 11 years old
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
$450 per child
September 12, 2023 to November 14th
18 months - 4 years old
*older siblings/children can join at an additional cost*
10:00 am to 12:00 pm | 4 sessions
$160 per duo (1 adult + 1 child)
$80 each additional child over the age of 18 months
Can't commit to the entire 10 classes?
Or, you would like to come & check out our programs and see what this Farm & Nature School is all about?
This Fall season we are happy to offer 4 drop-in spots at every session.
*Parent/caregiver-assisted two-hour day program for younger children (grandparents, aunts/uncles, nannies/sitters are welcome to attend in place of a parent).
*Participants must be at least 18 months old and preferably no more than 4 years old by the time the session ends. Older siblings are welcome but note that the programming is geared towards the 18 months to 4 yrs old).
*Siblings under 18 months may accompany the registered participant and caregiver at no additional costs. Children under the age of 18 months old are the sole responsibility of the parent/caregiver.
*Pre-registration is required
Location: Expérience Unik
2838, ch. Nolan, Hammond, K0A 2A0
This local small business has acres of farmland, water streams and a big forest to explore and play in. Their hobby farm includes a dog, cows, horses, ponies, rabbits, cats, pigs, goats, a donkey, a duck, and chickens. They are absolutely sweet, adorable, and really cuddly! We are really excited to be building our relationship to land and living beings over there, in a diverse, inclusive, grounding and supportive environment. One that really aligns with our values & our mission.
What is Farm & Forest School
Nature & Forest School is an all-year around outdoor educational program. Learning happens through the natural sciences of the rhythms of the seasons. It is through observation, active listening, fostering curiosity & child-lead play that learning through these changes will happen in the Nature. Mother Nature is the teacher, and we are her students.
We believe in letting children’s curiosities and interests lead the way.
This is also why school’s attendance is at a low ratio.
Throughout the program, children will be guided through hands-on learning that may also look like:
Farm animals caring and the different stages of growth
Land & animal tending through the different seasons
Coexisting with Wildlife
Plant identification, foraging and making natural medicines
“Let us go forth with our pupils into the child’s natural laboratory where, together, we may find the birds and insects of the air, the living animals of field and wood, the trees and flowers and shrubs, the water and the earth, the sun and other stars – things which will attract and hold the child’s eye, arouse his wonder, stimulate his inquiries, and give him opportunities for discovery.” – J. A. Patridge (Natural Science Through the Seasons – 1955)
Our school's philosophy is based on much of the same philosophies & benefits outlined in Forest Schools’ programming.
“There are a few common threads that help define what Forest School is:
It takes place entirely outside, all year round, in all weather (except for dangerous weather conditions like extreme temperatures, extreme winds, or thunderstorms)
It supports the holistic development and needs of the participants
It's learner-led and includes time for free exploration and play
It promotes appropriate levels of risk-taking, like climbing trees, fire lighting, and using tools”
~ (Forest Schooled, 2018)
Why Nature & Forest School?
It’s an opportunity for children to build individual resilience, self-confidence & trust within themselves through risky-play in Nature. 2020-2021 has shown us that navigating the unexpected, and building resiliency, is a much needed life skill to have.
It’s an opportunity for children to expand individual awareness of environmental impacts, where food comes from, and their connection & appreciation to nature & its living beings. This through their growing understanding & appreciation for the ecosystem, its diversity & trust in the science of Nature’s life-cycles.
Ongoing studies have proven the benefits & importance of empowering children through:
Child-led learning through free-play & curiosity, without the overinvolvement of adult intervention (Peter Gray, 2013; J. A. Patridge, 1955; Outdoor Play Canada)
Time spent outdoors which in turn provides a whole-holistic health (Richard Louv, 2008)
Spending time in gardens & with animals - as there is a persuasive amount of evidence of the benefits & therapeutic value of this. (Richard Louv, 2008)
“nature experiences “help children understand the realities of natural systems through primary experience. They demonstrate natural principles such as networks, cycles, and evolutionary processes. They teach that nature is a uniquely regenerative process.” An appreciation of these patterns is essential in fostering creativity, which of course is not the sole domain of the arts, but of science and even politics.” ~ Richard Louv (2008)
Meet your Guides
Stefany Pagé-Douville (Stef) is a Mom to humans & animals alike; Reiki practitioner; Meditation teacher; Forest School Practitioner; and certified Forest Bathing Therapy Guide. Her pronouns are she/her/elle. Stefany is a mental health & belonging advocate. She is passionate about the power of community, connection, and holding space for every living being. Her primary work focuses on inviting people of all ages to find solace & belonging in nature, whilst sharing & learning about its resources together.
Stef has been facilitating gatherings and nature experiences on the unceded, unsurrendered & stolen lands of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people through her own business, Your Healing Circle, since 2018. Stef has worked alongside numerous Ottawa organizations & communities. She continues to deepen her connection with Land through learning opportunities of Land Stewardship with these organizations, with an open-heart & a listening ear.
Stef has completed the Nature-Rooted comprehensive program design mentorship through Forest Schooled and continues to be mentored by Caylin Gans. In June 2022 she completed the North Star outdoor survival skills program with Coyote Programs in Kahnawake, QC. Lastly, she is also currently working through the Therapeutic Skills for Outdoor Leaders (with a focus on children) certification through The Therapeutic Forest organization.
Come slow down and connect to self & nature with her.
Véronique is a bilingual registered early childhood educator (RECE/EPEI) and has over 10 years of work experience with kids aged from 2-12.
She has been facilitating Nature & Farm School programs with Your Healing Circle since 2021.
She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics and she is currently completing her teaching degree at the University of Ottawa.
She enjoys sunsets and sunrises, daily adventures, trips to unknown places and zero waste living.
Being a scout for so many years, and raised in the country greatly influenced her way of living with others on this planet and she loves to share that with others, especially kids.
Véronique is driven by the combination of her love and passion for children, her dedication to protecting the planet and her young heart. Being a forest educator is a dream come true for her, aligned with her values and her everyday life, she strongly believes in learning outdoors while creating a bond with nature.
Natasha Mitchell is a Stay at Home Mother and Homeschool Educator for her family of four. A graduate from Carleton University, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology with a focus on Indigenous Studies before turning her attention to her desires to start a family. She has been fulfilling her dream of raising her children to have slow living lifestyle and a strong connection to nature on a 45 acre forested hobby farm since 2015.
Growing up in small town Southern Ontario, Natasha spent much of her childhood exploring fields and forests, and wishes to bring that passion along with her newly ignited interest in Wildschooling to her own children and other families alike. She was a Free Forest School Facilitator in 2019 for families of children ages 0-6 and actively seeks new opportunities to bring together her local homeschool community to share her excitement of education through the great outdoors. She is a self-taught proponent of Respectful Parenting and values the importance of children’s expression of their true self in a safe and welcoming environment.
Staff & Volunteer Positions
We are always looking to collaborate with facilitators that are passionate & have a love for nature-rooted schooling & learning approaches! Additionally, if you have training and experience in child-led learning & education; and have a fluid approach to facilitation with children, we would love to hear from you!
We welcome you to send us an email, and let us know how you could get involved!