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Image by Charlein Gracia

Nature Play

For children ages 18 months-5 years

Bluestone Nature Programs celebrates the whole child through unstructured play, ample time in nature, community building, and place-based learning. The natural world serves as our teacher, with developmentally appropriate opportunities to foster social-emotional development, challenge cognitive thinking, awaken our senses, and express our creativity sprinkled throughout each day. 

Bluestone follows best practices in nature-based education, meaning all outdoor sites are assessed for risk, learning is documented and shared with families, safety practices are in place for all aspects of programming (i.e. families submit medical and emergency contact information, etc.) and children’s developmental needs drive curriculum. 

Is Bluestone right for your child?

We believe that every child has the right to learn, play, and grow in the great outdoors. If your family values time spent outside, recognizes that play is learning,  and honors the importance of giving children the space and time to become kind, responsible, and empathic community members, then nature playschool is for you. 

The following criteria are good indicators for a child’s readiness for this nature program:
Must be confidently walking
Must be able to signal their needs (even if non-verbal)
Able to follow a set of 2-3 simple instructions
Able to separate from primary caregiver
Able to feed self without the need for a bottle
Able to make it through the morning without needing a nap

Who is eligible?

Bluestone is for kids ages 18 months-5 years. We welcome children still wearing diapers and working on toilet training*. We build in time throughout the day for diaper changes carried out in privacy by our lead Mentor.

*If this applies to your child, please let us know so we can discuss this sensitive topic and how to best support your little one. 

Before you register your child, we would love to hear from you, make a plan, and show you the space. We have a "rolling enrollment" policy, meaning we accept new children throughout the year pending availability. Priority enrollment for returning families is open January 1-January 31 each year. Open enrollment on a first come, first served basis opens February 1. 

What is the enrollment process?

  1. Review the website and read through what our program is all about

  2. Schedule a visit! We want families to see our space in person and get a feel for our program before enrolling. If you are ready to visit, please email us

  3. Enroll! Everything you need to enroll your child is available online and will be shared after your tour. One month's fee will be due upon enrollment (see details below), and after enrolling you will receive paperwork to fill out for your child.

  4. Fill out and return all paperwork by the due date. Be sure to also read our Family Handbook, sign, and return it.

  5. Get ready! Nature play is a unique and fun experience. Start gathering appropriate gear for your student, talk about what it will be like to go to school, and spend time outside as a family!

  6. Come to our Meet & Greet! We want families to get to know each other and have a chance to ask questions before the start of the school year. See our calendar for the Meet & Greet date. 

2023/24 Options (September-June)

Monday/Wednesday/Thursday: Chickadees

Monday/Wednesday: Saplings

Thursday: Nuthatches

Our day runs from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. We can accommodate up to 10 children each day. This allows us to maintain safety in our outdoor classroom and on trails. 

Fees and Payments

Nature play and learning should never be cost prohibitive. We do our best to offer high quality, affordable programming and aim to offer scholarships and reparations options. Until we have scholarship funds available, please reach out if you need financial assistance to attend. 

2023/24 Fees

3 days per week - $375/month

2 days per week - $250/month

1 day per week - $125/month 

A one month deposit is due upon enrollment to hold your child's space at Bluestone. This deposit will apply to the last month the child attends, as long as the family gives a month’s notice. Without a month’s notice, your deposit will be forfeited. Fees are billed monthly with payments due on the first of the month, for the month ahead. Fees is non-refundable.

Reminders with individual balances will be sent approximately two weeks before payments are due.  If you join partway through the year, we will prorate your fees.


Image by Marc Pell

Bluestone Nature Programs

Port Jervis, NY

Bluestone Nature Programs plays and learns on the unceded land of our Host Nation peoples, the Munsee Lenape and Mohican. We offer deep condolences to the past, present, and future Indigenous peoples who experienced harm at the hands of colonizers and for the systemic racism they still experience today. We promise to do our best as allies and support our Host Nation and all Indigenous peoples with our actions. We recognize this statement is just the first step and commit ourselves to continue to grow and work towards reparations and healing.

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