Our programs are inspired by the Forest Kindergarten model, guided by the seasons and what we encounter on a daily basis. We gather together no matter the weather for hands-on interaction with our local flora and fauna as we sing and dance, dig and build, watch and listen, create and destruct, run and climb, laugh and learn!
Children are empowered to pursue their individual interests through play, with the guidance of nature, peers, and an adult companion. Caregivers will receive mentoring on how to encourage children to engage with the earth as they explore new learning opportunities outdoors.
Each meeting presents a new opportunity for making connections with each other, with nature, and with ourselves. We revisit the same places, with the same faces, building within each session a unique community of curious wonder-seekers.
For children ages 1-5 with a caregiver
Our Saplings classes offer a unique play-based nature experience for our little adventurers. We sing songs, create nature art, read stories, and play games while exploring and learning about our local fauna. Each day provides an opportunity to learn through authentic hands-on experiences in the real-time progression of our Lowcountry seasons, and with a variety of sites to choose from there is always something new to experience!
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Spring Classes Now Enrolling!
March 17-May 22
Wannamaker County Park (North Charleston)
Caw Caw Interpretive Center (Ravenel)
James Island County Park (James Island)
Givhans Ferry State Park (Ridgeville)
Growing Minds Educational Farm (Mt. Pleasant)
For children ages birth-1 with a caregiver
Our Seedlings class will be an introduction to nature through simple sensory experiences in our outdoor classroom. Infused with developmentally appropriate songs, rhymes, chants, finger-plays, and movement, these classes are perfect for both new and experienced parents/caregivers with infants and babies. Best suited for littles who are have not yet learned to walk. It's never too early to begin cultivating a lifelong appreciation for the great outdoors!
Want to be kept informed about this future offering? Contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
What's a Loblolly...?
The Loblolly Pine is one of the most prevalent pine varieties in South Carolina. It grows naturally along the coastal plain, and can reach heights up to 150 feet tall. Loblolly pine needles are found in bunches of three, and their pine cones are dark gray with an almost silvery tip. Their scales are also quite prickly and sharp! We have lots of Loblolly pines around our forest classrooms, and nothing quite beats sitting under the shade of one for a moment of quiet rest!
In addition, a "loblolly" is also a Southern colloquial term for a mud puddle...which we find quite fitting! :)
What is your curriculum?
We have a play-based curriculum that is inspired by the The Cedarsong Way of Forest Kindergarten model (Waldkindergarten), which is committed to complete nature immersion, unstructured flow learning, child-inspired emergent curriculum, a place-based focus, inquiry-based teaching style and authentic play. In short, we follow the child's interests, allow time for discovery, and interact meaningfully with nature as it changes through the season. We also incorporate songs, storytelling, nature art, sensory explorations, and yoga, and children always have the choice to participate or continue following whatever has piqued their interest. While we sometimes bring simple materials into the forest (rakes, shovels, nets, buckets, chalk) we let nature be the guide for leading our class from day to day...so no two classes are the same!
What do you do when it rains?
We gather together no matter the weather! Our students learn how to appreciate and dress for the natural elements. Our Lowcountry weather is generally mild, with more warm days than cold, but we do have the occasional 40 degree day, and we certainly have our fair share of rain. That being said, if the weather proves to be severe we will cancel class and offer opportunities for make-up classes. Before the first class begins please make sure you are prepared with rain gear (jacket, boots, pants), cold gear (base layer, hat, gloves, warm/snow coat and pants), and plenty of "play" clothes that you don't mind getting dirty!
Do you offer drop-in classes?
Yes and no. Our classes are purposefully designed to make connections with nature, each other, and ourselves. We have found that the best way to build these connections is through continued interactions with the same group of people in the same outdoor classroom over the course of a 10-week session. That being said, during each session we have a "bring a friend" week, and we do periodically offer free demo classes, which we will advertise via social media, so be sure to follow us so you'll know when they're available!
What is your make-up and cancellation policy?
We understand things happen (because we're parents, too)! Therefore we have a very flexible makeup policy. If you have to miss a class, you may simply attend another class in exchange. For example, if you regularly attend the Tuesday class at Wannamaker but your little decides to play hide-and-seek with your keys as you're about to leave the house that day, you can attend the Thursday class at James Island instead. Just let your lead instructor know what you'd like to do so they can make sure to give you any site specific details. All make-ups must be used before the end of the current semester in which you are enrolled.
In the event that you decide to withdraw your child from the program, please notify Loblolly Adventures no less than 24 hours before the third class of the session, and you are responsible for all charges until you do so. Loblolly Adventures guarantees a full prorated refund for the session's remaining classes (no refunds thereafter). We cannot provide refunds for missed classes.
Can my child attend class with a caregiver other than a parent?
Absolutely! We regularly have children attending with grandparents, nannies, etc. If the caregiver is a fill-in for one week (i.e. not the registered caregiver) please make sure your lead instructor is aware ahead of time if possible.
May I bring an infant along?
Sure! Children under age 1 attend class free with an older registered sibling. We are also a community of openness and respect, so feel free to nurse, baby wear, or do whatever you need to do to care for your little one.
May I bring a stroller?
Yes, all of our sites are stroller-accessible.
What should I bring to class?
In addition to your weather-appropriate play clothes we recommend bringing a snack, sunscreen, bug spray (DEET-free for children), and a water bottle. For the especially wonderful puddle-jumping days, it's helpful to have a dry towel and a change of clothes in the car for after class!
May I bring a special toy for my child to class?
We find that it is best to leave anything that your child will find hard to share at home or in the car for after class.
May I invite friends or relatives to come along?
Yes, and if you are able, please let your lead teacher know ahead of time.
Can I take pictures or video of my child during class?
We live with our phones virtually attached to our hands. While we certainly would never prohibit you from capturing a special moment, we encourage you to do so discriminatingly and in a way that won't disrupt the flow of class or your child's presence in the lesson. Teachers and assistants will be taking photos and will share with parents throughout the session.
Do you offer classes for older children?
We hope to eventually expand our offerings to all ages! In particular, stay tuned for information about Homeschool programs, Summer Camp, Weekend Wildschool, Family Campouts, and more! Join our mailing list to make sure you don't miss any announcements about new programs!