Open house to be held Jan. 24, Jan. 30 for preschool at Monk Botanical Gardens

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:30 AM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Families looking to learn more about the preschool at Monk Botanical Gardens will have a couple of options this month.

Sprouts Garden Preschool is a garden and nature-based preschool program for kids 3-5 years old.

Elise Schuler is the education and events manager at Monk Botanical Gardens. She said the preschool is very unique in that children as much time outside as possible.

“So in the fall in the spring, they may not go inside at all while they’re at school. And in the winter, we do have an indoor space, their classroom is a yurt. So they get to go in and warm up there. But our goal is for them to be outside learning in the nature that surrounds them,” said Schuler.

Schuler explained that kids age 3-5 years are sometimes not ready to sit at a table or be in a classroom all day.

“And so being outside really gives them the freedom to run and play and develop their motor skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills. In a more free way, it helps build independence and confidence. And all of that movement really gets kids ready to learn. It gets their energy out and then their brains are ready to absorb all that information we’re trying to give them,” said Schuler.

Students at Sprouts Garden Preschool begin their day with play. The lesson starts with a talk about the weather and the days of the week.

“Kids go on a wonder walk. So we always walk around the gardens with the kids and they get to notice the changes in the seasons and the weather. And noticing those patterns is really important for their learning. And then we do story, snack, all the normal preschool things and then end the day was some play too,” said Schuler.

She said there are many benefits of outdoor learning.

“Kiddos are asking their families to go outside more and go on hikes. We have parents who have told me that their kids want them to compost at home now, which is fun. And kids are going home and teaching their parents how to identify trees, which is really unique and fun,” explained Schuler.

Sprouts will host two open house events. They are Jan. 24 and Jan. 30 from 5-7 p.m. Families can drop in during those dates and times. Monk Botanical Gardens is located at 1800 N. 1st Ave. in Wausau.

Enrollment begins Feb. 1 for garden members and Feb. 8 for non-members.