What is a Nature Preschool?

All components of a high-quality traditional program are present in a nature preschool, but the environment and medium for learning are outdoors.


Children discover local flora and fauna during their exploration of the environment with staff encouraging curiosity by providing literature, projects, and structure that expand their understanding. Mathematics, science, social, and physical skills are all seamlessly woven into this content.


There is an emphasis on process art (i.e. free painting with a variety of materials chosen by the child) vs. product art (i.e.group projects that look identical). Materials selected compliment the natural classroom spaces found indoors and outside.

About Our Preschool

Our Philosophy

We believe that concrete daily experiences, in nature with ample time to explore, build children’s ability to problem solve and self-regulate. Our emergent and child-centered curriculum allows us to investigate nature and the farm using a multidisciplinary approach. By harnessing children’s natural curiosity, and using multiple senses, we are able to meet children’s developmental needs while creating a deep connection with nature.


We believe that early repeated exposure to the natural world facilitates a growth of personal identity and an understanding of the interconnection between humans and their environments.

To find out more, you are welcome to come and visit our indoor space, meet the Nature Preschool teachers, and learn about the details of our nature-based program. Children are welcome and can play while you tour the space and ask questions. Please fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page to schedule your visit.

Program Highlights

Licensed preschool through the State of Ohio

Mixed age groups of three to five-year-olds

15:3 child to staff ratio

We use Teaching Strategies GOLD for assessment and parent communication

Project based learning with an emergent curriculum and the Reggio-Emilia approach

Lead teachers train in First Aid, CPR, Communicable Disease, and Child Abuse Identification

Incoming students are required to be toilet trained and using underwear*

* Contact our Director, Meredith Florkey with questions regarding this policy


Our philosophy of education requires that our classes be held outside for the majority of our time. We go out in light rain and snow. Safety precautions are adhered to and we are not out of doors when it is pouring rain, thundering, or lightning. In cases of severe cold temperatures, we limit our outdoor time. Staff work with parents to assure proper clothing and skin protection all times. Students will bring a packed lunch each day. A daily healthy morning snack will be provided.

For the second half of the school year, children who are enrolled in either the Blue Jay or Cardinal class and plan to start Kindergarten the following school year, have the option for more preschool time each Friday. The Friday Falcons class extends the content explored with younger peers earlier in the week but has more of an emphasis on researching (reading), documentation (writing), and performing additional science experiments.  This class has an additional cost.


Monday & Wednesday 9:00-1:00

Blue Jays

Tuesday & Thursday 9:00-1:00

Friday Falcons

Teacher recommended

Fridays 9am-1pm (Feb 2018)


The registration period for the 2019-2020 school year is now open.  In order to be entered in the lottery please fill out the following link and submit your form either digitally to [email protected]learningtreefarm.org OR mail to 3274 S. Union Rd, Dayton, OH 45417.  The registration fee is NOT due unless your child receives a slot.  The lottery will be held on March 14th and selected families will be notified immediately.  Once slots are full we will continue pulling names, should there be more than there are slots available, and form a waiting list.  Those families will be notified immediately as well.
We encourage you to attend one of our open houses on Saturday, January 26th from 10:00am-1:00pm or Thursday, January 31 from 6:30pm-8:30pm.  These open houses will allow you to visit our indoor space, meet our teachers, ask questions and explore what makes us so unique.  We look forward to sharing our philosophy, daily schedule and meet your family!  Children are welcome at this drop-in open house event.


2019-2020 LTFNP Registration form 


2018-2019 Sliding Scale Tuition Information

Yes, I’d like to find out more!

Email our Community Education Director