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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Lil' Nature Kids

Do you have a 5 or 6 year old? They can also attend our elementary-aged program - Nature Recess!

Lil' Nature Kids (age 3-6)

Lil’ Nature Kids is a drop-off style program that uses experienced, enthusiastic teachers to combine ecological concepts with developmentally appropriate skills and kindergarten readiness. Our preschool naturalists take small groups of children into a park for two hours to learn through stories, songs, art, exploration, and imaginary play. The primary goal is to give children positive outdoor experiences, rain or shine, with teachers who direct the learning based on the children’s interests. All classes are mixed age. Ratio of students to teachers is 4:1 or better. Sites vary by day of week and season and include the following: Mt Tabor Park, Sellwood Park, Peninsula Park, Irving Park, Laurelhurst Park and a SW site TBD. Fall, winter, spring and summer sessions are offered.
Check out the current and upcoming schedules here!

Praise for Lil' Nature Kids!
"My daughter loved the first day. She's not typically very cold tolerant, but she went out on a cold, rainy 41 degree day and had a blast. That's a ringing endorsement!" ~ Parent of a Lil' Nature Kid

If it’s more than 5 business days from the start date, you can withdraw for a $10 administrative fee or switch classes without charge. Unfortunately, however, once we are within 5 business days of the start date of a class, we can no longer offer any refunds. By that time, our preschool naturalists have committed to teaching and we have scheduled the appropriate amount. If you have questions about the withdrawl policy, please give Chrissy Larson a call at 503-823-1149.

All signed up? Here's what you need to know! 

Our programs are very active, and we are outside rain or shine. The children who have the most successful experiences are those who arrive with appropriate clothing, footwear, and food. (If you are worried about your child needing a change of clothes, send along some extra clothes in a large Ziploc bag!) Children should come to each day of the program with the following:

  • Warm clothes, rain gear & rain boots as needed! (Remember that many of our parks are at elevation and along rivers and can feel colder than right outside your house!)
  • We require hat & mittens each day of class during the school year!
  • A portable snack to have along the trail (fruit, veggies, granola bar, hummus/pita, cheese, etc)
  • Water bottle (small enough for little hands to deal with but big enough to hold at least 8 oz of water)
  • Comfortable backpack that’s an appropriate size/weight for your child to hold the snack & water bottle - we like kids to have free hands for exploring