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Caregiver-Accompanied Early Years Clubs
Caregiver-Accompanied Early Years Clubs

In our early years programs, children and their caregivers have the chance to explore and learn together, as well as meet other families who love and value nature. Experienced leaders encourage the children to follow their natural curiosity, nurture their sense of wonder and help them care for the nature in High Park. Caregivers will also learn a wealth of new ways to explore nature with their young ones.

Fall 2019 clubs registration will open on July 24 at 7 AM! Click on the club names below for more details about dates, times, and program fees.

Once registration opens an active "Register Now!" button will appear immediately below this text.

Nature Baby Details

Caregiver-accompanied club

Ages 6 months – 18 months

For babies who will be carried for the hike portion of the program

Nature babies learn the wild ways of High Park with their caregivers as they listen to birds, touch the natural textures of the woods and enjoy the fresh air. Experienced leaders gently encourage participants to experience and appreciate nature playfully with songs, rhymes, crafts and sensory stations. Then caregivers put their babies in a carrier for a guided hike. Caregivers will learn new ways to explore nature with their young ones. Please note that the trails we use for hikes are not stroller-friendly.

Our activities are guided by the seasons and weather conditions. Some areas of focus will likely include:

  • Outdoor exploration activities that encourage babies and caregivers to use their senses
  • Nature-based songs and action rhymes
  • Sensing the changing seasons through hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight
  • Nature crafting
  • Learning and singing bird songs
  • Hiking to some of High Park’s places of natural wonder (Hikes are approximately 40 minutes on moderate trails. Hikes will be at a slow pace.)
  • Searching for wildlife

“Nature Baby is an amazing program!….It was so neat to see the babies grow! And to talk and walk with the other parents.” – Participant testimonial

“I loved it entirely: the time in the Nature Centre (the atmosphere, the nature items & toys, the animals, the songs) and the hikes & activities in the woods. The pace & friendliness was just right. And I really enjoyed learning tidbits about nature in the park.” – Participant testimonial


Fall 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Nature Baby- ThursdayAlternating Thursdays10:30 am – 12pm$115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 19, October 3, October 17, October 31, November 14, November 28
Nature Baby- FridayAlternating Fridays10:30 am – 12pm
$115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 27, October 11, October 25, November 8, November 22, December 6

Nature Baby
Ages 6-18 months

Sensory nature exploration for babies who will be carried for the hike portion of the program.

Waddlers Details

Caregiver-accompanied club

Ages 18 months – 36 months

For toddlers who will walk for most of a short hike.

Toddlers (aka Waddlers) learn the wild ways of High Park with their caregivers as they look under logs for bugs, listen for birds, smell flowers, feel dirt and play in the woods. Experienced leaders gently encourage participants to experience and appreciate nature playfully. Caregivers also learn new ways to explore nature with their young ones.

Our activities are guided by the seasons and weather conditions. Some areas of focus will likely include:

  • Outdoor exploration activities that focus on using all of our senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and sometimes taste!)
  • Songs and rhymes
  • Looking for signs that the seasons are changing
  • Nature crafting
  • Learning and singing bird songs
  • Hiking to some of High Park’s places of natural wonder (Hikes are approximately 40 minutes, toddler-paced and activity-based.)
  • Searching for wildlife
  • Planting native plants (spring and fall)

Summer 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Waddlers- ThursdayEvery Thursday10am – 11:30 am $110 for 6 meetingsJuly 11, July 18, July 25, August 1, August 15*, August 22
*Session date moved due to scheduling conflicts

Fall 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Waddlers- WednesdayAlternating Wednesdays10am – 11:30 am $115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 18, October 2, October 16, October 30, November 13, November 27
Waddlers- ThursdayAlternating Thursdays10am – 11:30 am $115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 26, October 10, October 24, November 7, November 21, December 5
Waddlers- SaturdayAlternating Saturdays10am – 11:30 am $115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 28, October 12*, October 26, November 9, November 23, December 7
*Thanksgiving weekend
Waddlers- SundayAlternating Sundays10am – 11:30 am $115 for 6 meetingsSeptember 29, October 13*, October 27, November 10, November 24, December 8
*Thanksgiving weekend

Waddlers
Ages 18-36 months

Sensory nature exploration for toddlers who will walk for most of the hike portion of the program.

Knee-High Naturalists Details

Caregiver-accompanied club

Ages 3 – 5

Knee-High Naturalists learn the wild ways of High Park as they look under logs for bugs, listen for birds, smell flowers, feel dirt and play imaginatively in the woods. Experienced leaders encourage the children to ask questions, nurture their sense of wonder and help them care for the nature in High Park. Caregivers will learn new ways to explore nature with their young ones.

Our activities are guided by the seasons and weather conditions. Some areas of focus will likely include:

  • Hiking to some of High Park’s places of natural wonder
  • Searching for wildlife
  • Planting native plants (spring and fall)
  • Sensing the changing seasons through hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight
  • Nature crafting
  • Playing nature games
  • Singing nature songs

“The thing that I appreciate the most about Knee-High Naturalists is the way that the leaders communicate with the children. All ideas are listened to and acknowledged. The children are given a “voice” and this aids in their ability to learn.” – Parent testimonial

Fall 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Knee-High Naturalists- TuesdayAlternating Tuesdays 10am – 11:30am $125 for 6 meetings
September 17, October 1, October 15, October 29, November 12, November 26
Knee-High Naturalists- SundayAlternating Sundays 1:30pm – 3pm $125 for 6 meetingsSeptember 29, October 13*, October 27, November 10, November 24, December 8
*Thanksgiving weekend

Knee-High Naturalists
Ages 3-5 years

Just like a nature preschool or kindergarten! Songs, crafts and hands on nature play and discovery.

Fox and Kits Details

Caregiver-accompanied club

Ages 18 months – 5 years

Fox and Kits is a program at the Nature Centre for adults and a wider age range of children in their early years - great for families with multiple children or family friends! Children and caregivers have the chance to explore and learn together, as well as meet other families who love and value nature. Experienced leaders encourage participants to experience nature with all of their senses, ask questions, nurture their sense of wonder, and help them care for the nature in High Park. Caregivers will also learn new ways to explore nature with their young ones. All children between 18 months and 5 years who are attending the program must be enrolled. Babies who will be carried may attend with their caregiver at no charge.

There is a 15% discount for additional registered siblings in "Fox and Kits"!

Our activities are guided by the seasons and weather conditions. Some areas of focus will likely include:

  • Outdoor play with natural materials
  • Hiking to some of High Park’s places of natural wonder
  • Sensing the changing seasons through hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight
  • Nature crafting
  • Playing lots of nature games
  • Singing nature songs
  • Searching for wildlife
  • Planting native plants (spring and fall)

Summer 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Fox and Kits- TuesdayEvery Tuesday10am – 11:30am $110* for 6 meetings
July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 13*, August 20
*Session date moved due to scheduling conflicts
Fox and Kits- WednesdayEvery Wednesday10am – 11:30am $110* for 6 meetingsJuly 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 14*, August 21
*Session date moved due to scheduling conflicts

*There is a 15% discount for additional siblings registered in "Fox and Kits".

Fall 2019

Name Day Time Price Dates
Fox and Kits- FridayAlternating Fridays10am – 11:30am $115* for 6 meetings
September 20, October 4, October 18, November 1, November 15, November 29
Fox and Kits- SundayAlternating Sundays10am – 11:30am $115* for 6 meetingsSeptember 22, October 6, October 20, November 3, November 17, December 1
Fox and Kits- TuesdayAlternating Tuesdays10am – 11:30am $115* for 6 meetings
September 24, October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, December 3

*There is a 15% discount for additional siblings registered in "Fox and Kits".

Fox and Kits
Ages 18 months- 5 years

An early years nature club for a wider age range. A great choice for siblings or family friends!

Club Policies

Location

Programs take place at the High Park Nature Centre at the Forest School located at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive.

Age Requirements

For all programs, children MUST be of the minimum age of the program on or before the start of the program.

Siblings

Our Nature Clubs are for registered participants who are within that club’s age range only.  For our caregiver-accompanied early years programs, we allow “babes in arms” (babies who will be carried) to be brought to the program with their caregiver.  If you need more information on our sibling policy, please do not hesitate to contact us at 416-392-1748 or naturecentre@highpark.org.

Registration

Registration is required for all programs. Registration cannot be confirmed until payment has been received.

Programs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommended registering as soon as possible after Registration opens to avoid disappointment. If a club is full, you can sign up to be on the club waitlist. In the case that a spot becomes available, we contact the next person on the waitlist. If you would like advance notice of our Registration Dates, you can sign up for our e-newsletter.

Please contact us at 416-392-1748 or naturecentre@highpark.org if you have any questions.

Cancellation

Requests for refunds made 14 or more days before the start of the program will receive a 90% refund (10% will be retained as an administration fee).

Requests for refunds made less than 14 days before the start of the program will receive a 50% refund.

Requests made less than 7 days before the start of the program will receive no refund.

Requests for cancellations or refunds must be made in writing and submitted to the High Park Nature Centre at naturecentre@highpark.org.

A doctor’s note may be required for cancellations due to medical reasons. Refunds are not granted for inclement weather. 

Please contact us at 416-392-1748 or naturecentre@highpark.org if you have any questions.

Weather

Programs will proceed rain, snow or shine. Please be sure to dress your child appropriately for the weather as we will be outdoors for most of the activities. Programs will be run indoors in the case of severe inclement weather such as heavy rain, thunderstorms, snowstorms or high winds over 35 km per hour. We also advise wearing long pants, socks and long sleeved tops to protect against poison ivy. If you have any questions please call our office at 416-392-1748.

Behaviour

At the High Park Nature Centre we strive to create a safe, inclusive environment for everyone. We want to work with children and parents/guardians to overcome challenging behaviours. Our staff use positive reinforcements, empowering language, and friendly reminders of what appropriate behaviour looks like, sounds like, and feels like. When conflicts arise, we guide children through conflict resolution discussions so they can develop empathy and interpersonal skills. When necessary, staff will discuss with parents/guardians strategies for improving behaviour.

However, in some cases a Program Coordinator may need to remove the child from the program. Parents/guardians will be asked to pick up the child immediately. A refund will not be given in this event. Examples of behaviour that will result in removal include (but are not limited to): violence to themselves or others, bullying, damaging property, refusing to follow safety rules, repeatedly running out of sight, or continued disruption of the program.

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