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Children flourish through emergent, seasonal learning that seamlessly weaves intentional teaching practices to nurture social, emotional, cognitive, physical, language, and spiritual development, which is unique to every child.

Notchcliff Nature Programs offer a loving community where children blossom into their own being through nature-based early childhood education. We cultivate trusting interpersonal relationships as children lead the way. We encourage inquiry, imagination, empathy, awe, and gratitude - all of which are abundantly accessible through nature-based learning and play.

Children grow roots in the community as they come to know the stories of our land, its keepers of the past, and the ways in which we can care for nature for generations to come.

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"Children are innately creative, marvelous beings. Children flourish with freedom to explore and play outdoors, especially alongside guides who give space, time, and support for these vital, and sometimes risky pursuits. Ultimately, nature-based education helps children become more deeply connected to nature and each other as they develop a strong sense of self identity, one leaf at a time. It is a lasting gift not only for each marvelous child, but also for our families, communities, and future generations of our world."

Monica Wiedel-Lubinski


Guiding Principles

Our gratitude routines help children feel appreciated and express appreciation for themselves, family, friends, the larger community, and the natural world

Nature Connection
We encourage meaningful connections with the natural world, help children understand they are part of nature, and that we can be be caretakers and changemakers

We honor young children as independent, capable thinkers who engage in child-directed learning every season and in all kinds of weather

Personal and Interpersonal Connections
We support children as they explore their identities, form friendships, develop trust with caring adults, navigate conflict, and deepen sense of place among the natural world

We dream, invent, engineer, and construct with natural materials to create meaningful artwork, stories, games, songs, and other creative pursuits; our focus is on creative learning processes, not end products

We embrace the ways children problem-solve, take risks, tinker, experiment, and explore ideas independently and collaboratively

Awe and Wonder
We cultivate curiosity and reverence for nature through emergent and experiential outdoor learning

Adventurous Spirit
We support risky, active play and exploration

We provide space and time to for children to notice, observe, and deeply engage in unstructured nature play and flow learning

We cultivate an understanding of the importance of our ancestors, elders, and first peoples at the core of the places where we live and learn

Diverse Communities
We welcome families, elders, and community members from all backgrounds and abilities to participate in learning experiences and nurture appreciation for the diversity found in our communities, ecosystem, and world