Where the whole child is shaped by the natural world

  • Nature Preschool

    “We feel so fortunate to have Nature Preschool as our children's educational introduction. They love school and all their warm and wonderful teachers.”

  • Nature Preschool

    “In this era when so many young children are indoors on electronic screens, Nature Preschool provides an ideal alternative to grow up in the real natural world!”

  • Nature Preschool

    “I can’t say enough about the gorgeous classrooms and the thoughtful, engaged teachers. I feel blessed to have found such a unique and wonderful experience.”

  • Nature Preschool

    “Our daughter left the program as a confident, curious, risk taker who clearly loves to learn. We will forever be grateful for this program.”

  • Nature Preschool

    “Many of us form our lifelong dreams when we are very young, and I am so glad that my children were able to have an early foundation in nature and science.”

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s nature-based, developmentally appropriate preschool provides a unique learning experience for 3- to 5-year-olds. The emergent curriculum focuses on exploration and discovery in nature each day. The curriculum promotes learning and prepares children for kindergarten as they develop an appreciation for the natural world.

All 2021–22 preschool classes are full. Contact Ann Halley at ahalley@chicagobotanic.org to be placed on a waitlist.

Open House 2022   More Information

How is a nature-based preschool different from a traditional preschool?

  • The natural world is the catalyst for the curriculum.
  • Daily time spent outdoors in all weather (approximately half of the class time) allows for discovery in an ever-changing environment.
  • Discovery-based learning includes a hands-on approach to education.
  • Time is built in for children to observe, explore, discover, and reflect in learning activities.

Please note: All children must be fully toilet trained before attending classes.

Registration and Cancellation Policies

Ann Haley Teaching

Any Questions?

Contact: Ann Halley, manager of early childhood programs and preschool director
Email: ahalley@chicagobotanic.org
Phone: (847) 835-8238


Nature Preschool is a member of the Alliance for Early Childhood and a member of Natural Start Alliance.