Reflections on Fall Preschool Outreach

It was a fun-filled fall for Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm based education team as we traveled as far north as Brunswick and as far south as Saco to deliver nature-based and developmentally appropriate programs for early learners ages 2-5. Between the months of September and December, we delivered 33 individual preschool programs, and reached about 250 young learners. We are excited to announce that this spring we are adding 15 new PreK sites to our roster.

Early Childhood Education ProgramIn October, at Winfield Children’s House, we learned about animal adaptations and made collages by rolling dice to piece together different animal parts. Students decided a habitat and a name for their new animal. We also learned about nocturnal animals and read the book Flashlight by Lizi Boyd. This book contains no words, so students were challenged to tell the story on their own. They took turns narrating the pictures in their best storytelling voice.

In November, we learned about how different animals prepare for winter. Our mystery animal was the groundhog and children were delighted to see this charismatic rodent up close. Top comments include “it’s so cuuuuute” and “it looks like my dog.” Children were asked “what do you notice?” and many observed the long nails which groundhogs use to dig their burrows. We played many rounds of Groundhog in the Burrow where one child would hide under a dark sheet and the guesser would have to determine which child was the groundhog hiding in the burrow.

In December, we focused on snow and were fortunate enough to experience some snow first hand! We worked together to make a “snowflake pizza” using collaboration and teamwork to strengthen early math skills of patterns and symmetry. We used silk scarves to sing a song about making snowballs while exercising our wrists and fingers which will be used in the emergent stages of handwriting.

Combining nature-based learning with intentional skill-building in a fun and engaging way is truly what guides our programs. Read more about our Early Childhood Education program here. If you would like to have Maine Audubon come to your preschool or PreK classroom, please use this link to fill out an interest form. We would love to meet you!
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We were able to visit the following preschools and centers this fall:
Winfield Children’s House (Falmouth)
Evergreen Learning Center (Falmouth)
Ledgemere Preschool (Cape Elizabeth)
Chickadee Toddler Care and Preschool (South Portland)
Your Little Artist (South Portland)
Dovetail (Falmouth)
Friends School of Portland (Cumberland)
Talbot Elementary PreK (Portland)
Shunk Childcare (Portland)
Pine Grove School (Falmouth)
Play (Portland)
Little Schoolhouse on Maine (Brunswick)
Kidz Go Eco Nature School (Saco)
PreK at Youth and Family Outreach (Portland)