Learning Tree Farm Nature Preschool

Welcome to Nature Preschool

Our nature preschool is an extension of the Learning Tree Farm’s mission to provide hands-on learning experiences for children and families in a traditional farm setting.  We are excited to be able to provide our students with all the components of a high-quality traditional preschool program, while fully immersing them in the natural surroundings of our 85-acre farm and woodlands complete with hiking trails, historical structures, gardens, fields, and dozens of farm animals to explore and discover each and every day!


    • Students enrolling in the Nature Preschool program must be at least 3 years old by September 30,2022 and toilet trained before the first day of class.
    • Enrollment for Nature Preschool is done through a lottery, with returning students filling the first round of available slots, siblings filling the second round, and new families filling the third round until all 30 slots are filled.
    • Families are welcomed to visit our school during our 2022 Open Houses on January 27, 2022 from 1:30-3pm and January 29, 2022 from 10-11:30am. In the meantime please enjoy the open house video from last year as an introduction to our program. (Just be sure to ignore the dates from last year.)
    • The sign-up for the enrollment  lottery  for the 2022-2023  school year will be open from January 2 – February 7, 2022, with class rosters being announced on February 17, 2022.
    • Monthly tuition for the 2022-2023  year will be 8 payments of $280 from August – April with no payment made in January.  This amount will be prorated if your child is enrolled after the beginning of the school year.

Check Back after January 2, 2022 for 2022-2023 Enrollment Lottery

About Our Preschool

Our program is shaped by the Reggio-Emilia educational approach. This means we take our lead from the curiosity and wonder of our young learners and embrace our environment as a valuable component, almost as another teacher, of the learning process. Project-based learning experiences and daily reflections by both students & staff play heavily in guiding our program. We also embrace a 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) approach. Learning and creative materials complement the natural classroom spaces found outdoors and indoors to round out this unique and invaluable educational experience.

One of the most obvious elements of a nature-based program that really sets us apart from a more traditional setting is that our classes are outside every day, even in light rain and snow, for the majority of our time together. Never fear, to ensure safety and comfort, we work closely with our student’s families to assure proper clothing and skin protection for all seasons. In addition, safety precautions are adhered to and we are not outside when it is pouring rain when there is thunder or lightning, or in the cases of severely cold temperatures. In such situations, we do limit our outdoor time accordingly.

We are eager to share our passion for building a community of lifelong learners and lovers of nature at the Learning Tree Farm Nature Preschool with you & your family! Be sure to enjoy the virtual open house video to learn a bit more about our daily schedule and this year’s enrollment lottery process as well as review more details about our program below. Then fill out your enrollment lottery google form and/or future Nature Preschool Interest form below. Please feel free to contact Amy Thompson, the Nature Preschool Director, with any additional questions at [email protected] .

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 growth of personal identity and an understanding of the interconnection between humans and their environments.

Program Highlights

Licensed preschool through the State of Ohio

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

We use Teaching Strategies GOLD for assessment and parent communication

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

We aim to spend at least 65-75% of everyday out of doors.

Classes are 2 days/week and run from the end of August through May, with an extended winter “hibernation” from mid-December to the beginning of February.

15:3 child to staff ratio

Classes are mixed-aged three to five-year-olds

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

* Contact our Director with questions regarding this policy


If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to always have a back up plan. Below you will find our regular  schedule as well as our back up plan, preschool lite, for the 2021-2022 school year. We will announce the scheduled format for each month a week before the month begins so that you can make any necessary adjustments to your tuition payment. All classes are groups of mixed-age students from 3-5 years of age.


The 2021-2022 school year runs from the end of August – Memorial Day.

School Holidays include:

Fall Break, the week of Thanksgiving

Winter Break, the second half of December & all of January

Spring Break, one week during the end of March/beginning of April

Individual Federal Holidays

Regular Preschool Schedule

* Current schedule in use. *

-2 classes of 15 students each

-One class runs on Mondays & Wednesdays, the Cardinals, from 9 am-1 pm

-The other class runs on Tuesdays & Thursdays, the Blue Jays,  from 9 am-1 pm

-A daily healthy morning snack will be provided.

-Students will bring a packed lunch each day. 

-The majority of programming will be held outdoors and the day will wrap up indoors.

-There is a $75 non-refundable registration fee if you are awarded a slot.

-Monthly tuition for this level of programming is 8 payments of $280/month August-April (with no payment made in January).

Preschool-Lite Schedule

*This schedule is currently NOT in use but maybe implemented as a response to a spike in covid cases in our area.*

-2 classes of 15 students each.

-One class runs on Mondays & Wednesdays from 9 am-12 pm.

-The other class runs on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 am-12 pm.

-A daily healthy morning snack will be provided.

-Students will NOT eat lunch at the school.

-All programming will be held outside, but we will have access to the bathrooms and inside space in case of weather emergencies.

-There is a $75 non-refundable registration fee if you are awarded a slot.

-Monthly tuition for this level of programming is 8 payments of $250/month August-April (with no payment made in January).

Friday Falcons

This add-on class is for students who are already enrolled in our Nature Preschool and plan to start Kindergarten the following school year.

-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.

-Offered on Fridays from February-May 

-9 am-12 pm or 9 am-1 pm, depending on if we are running our regular schedule or preschool lite schedule

-Composed of a mixed group from the Blue Jay and Cardinal classes for a total of 15 children

-This class has an additional cost.

Future Interest Form

From time to time we have families with children who are too young to enroll for Nature Preschool who want to be involved in the Learning Tree Farm Community or want to be kept current on its comings and goings.  We have created the “Future Nature Preschool Interest Form” to engage those families.  By signing up for this email list you will receive reminders about programming, documentation on learning at community programs, and a heads up when our enrollment periods begin as well as reminders of open houses. We are so pleased to have you join in the nature-based educational movement in the Miami Valley! 

***Please note, signing up for this email list is NOT enrollment in the preschool or its waitlist.  It is for information distribution ONLY. ***