Art, Nature & Me Preschool Facilities
There are dozens of great preschools in and around Stamford. What sets Art, Nature & Me apart is that we are a field trip! Art, Nature & Me is nestled in the northeast corner of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a beautiful 118-acre site that boasts, among other things, a working educational farm, an art gallery, 80 miles of hiking trails, an observatory and planetarium.
Each year, hundreds of area schools pay to send their students to SM&NC on field trips to take advantage of its wonderful facilities and educational resources. At Art, Nature & Me, our kids get to do all this and more-every day! From participation in all the seasonal activities at SM&NC (such as helping add apples to the press during cider-making season, plus counting sap buckets and checking sap levels during maple-sugaring season) to almost-daily farm visits and nature walks, these "field trips"-and then some-form part of our core curriculum.
Cozy, Colorful Classroom!
Hand in hand with this impressive array of outdoor learning environments, Art, Nature & Me boasts four bright and welcoming classrooms. Each room is equipped with interest areas (a reading area, a math and science table, a sensory table, an art table, a block area, etc.) that complement and reinforce the work done in our "outdoor classroom." These stations are constantly altered and updated to keep our preschoolers' interest thanks to our team of dedicated, dynamic teachers. The downstairs level of the preschool building is geared to the 3s' programs; the upstairs is devoted to the 4s.
Classroom 1 (3 year olds)
Classroom 2 (3 year olds)
Classroom 3 (4 year olds)
Classroom 4 (4 year olds)
Framed by a beautiful forest backdrop, Art, Nature & Me boasts its own
natural playground, which is solely for use by our preschoolers.
There's something for every child in this carefully thought-out play
area that sports a variety of outdoor play stations (a sandbox, a
climbing structure, a water table, a playhouse, an outdoor easel, etc.) as
well as some specially commissioned fun new additions: a natural
wooden hut, a hollow wooden log and a fenced-off (real!) chicken coop
that is home to our very own chickens.
Hitting the Trails!
With more than 80 miles of nature trails to choose from, there's no time for such a thing as bad weather at Art, Nature & Me-just bad clothes! We truly embrace the great outdoors by dressing for the elements and hitting the trails no matter the weather. From the first snowflake of the season to the soft chirping of a newly hatched bird, it's out on the trails (and with the help of our knowledgeable teachers) that the kids really get to experience firsthand the beauty and wonder of nature and witness the changing seasons.
One of the preschoolers' favorite hikes is to the vernal ponds, where they love to listen for frogs and scoop up salamander eggs and pond insects. Chippy's Trail, enjoyed for the soothing gurgle of the nearby brook and its excellent potential for sighting "Chippy" (i.e. any chipmunk!), is another popular route.
Down on the Farm!
SM&NC's living, working Heckscher Farm, with its large family of farmyard animals, is just a five-minute walk from the classroom. Here, from helping brush the goats to feeding the chickens, the kids literally get to roll up their sleeves and learn firsthand what farm life is all about. Other highlights of farm visits include meeting the new lambs, kids, ducklings and chicks in spring; chatting to the farmers as they go about their daily chores; and participating in apple cidering and maple sugaring during those respective seasons. Last but not least, the otter pond (home to famed river otters Sadie and Bert) are other popular stops while at the farm.