Farm, Forest and Nature School

Offering child-centred, curiosity-led learning through play on the land

Out to Play offers an Independent School (BSID #881468) with part-time programs at the Out to Play Centre and at locations across the city.

Each day at Out to Play is unique and co-created between the children and their educators. After drop-off children play until its time for circle, snack and Story. They may offer suggestions on where they’d like to play, they may discuss among themselves with the educator’s support and then they’ll hike out. They’ll follow a trail to explore and settle in to play. Children lunch out on the land through almost all weather, returning later in the day to create, build, garden and play together on the farm.

Out to Play Pedagogy and Staff

All Out to Play programs follow an approach that is child-centred, play-based, curiosity-led and educator-supported. We support risky play as co-conspirators, through collaborative dialogue and a thorough risk-benefit assessment process. Our staff are experienced, playful and intuitive facilitators with diverse backgrounds including Forest and Nature School practitioners, qualified teachers, child and youth workers and/or early childhood educators.

Building resilience on the land

Our Farm and Forest School programs are outside through all weather. The shelters are warmed with a woodstove through the cold months and offer a space to warm up, dry off or change clothes before heading out to play again.

Centring physical well-being and mental health

We know to be on the land and engaged in play supports children’s physical and mental health. Out to Play programs are following pandemic protocols established by Ottawa Public Health. Regular sanitation protocols including handwashing, physical distancing and masking as needed ensure that we are able to offer a comforting and safer program.

A sense of belonging through connection to the land

Out to Play Farm and Forest School uses an Eco Value-Impact Assessment to manage our impact on the land while holding space for children to build a life-long relationship with the natural world through play and place-based learning. Environmental preservation and education is embedded in all aspects of our work from program design to every story told, and every interaction with the land and creatures.

Children are welcome to be registered for 1 to 3 days per week. The groups include:

Fox Programs
Open to ages 4-10 years. A full-day program that runs from 9am-3pm.

Wolf program
Open to ages 8-12. A full-day program that runs from 9am-3pm.

Owl Program
Open to children ages 2.5-5 years and independently toileting. A half day program that runs from 9am-12pm.

Interested in registration? Many inquiries can be answered through the Parent Handbook. You’re welcome to check out our registration page for current openings or to add your child to the waitlist.

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