Even during the cold winter, the Outdoor Center in Eden Prairie was open for families to hike through Staring Lake Park and view winter from more than just their backyards. Now, the Outdoor Center will begin hosting its spring events to go along with the warmer weather, including a new session of the Nature Preschool Program.
This program opens up the center and the great expanse of nature to young children. The Nature Preschool Program is broad, allowing for a host of activities that preschoolers may not experience in a traditional classroom. “Kids love petting and feeding the animals on site,” supervisor Stan Tekiela says.
Participants in the program will work with teachers and other preschoolers on essential social skills, including sharing and taking turns, while they practice fundamentals in math, literacy and science. The natural environment is also conducive to creative expression. The program offers art and coordination improving activities, often utilizing the surroundings of the Outdoor Center. For parents, the program allows flexibility in attendance, offering children half or full day participation.
For older fans of the outdoors, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. One of the more popular events held at the Outdoor Center is the Star Watch Astronomy Night, which Tekiela says is a big hit with kids. “It’s hard to see the night sky with the light pollution in the metro area. Using the telescope shows kids the expanse of space in a way you can’t see with your eyes.” The Outdoor Center is also open every Saturday for hiking and self-guided activities.
Ages 3 ½ –6. $120 half-day series, $295 full-day series. Classes meet weekly, starting April 12, 13 and 14. Half days meet from 9:30 a.m.–noon. Full days meet from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. This program is part of the Passport to Fun fee assistance program; 13765 Staring Lake Parkway.