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The Audubon Nature Preschool offers nature-based, hands-on preschool programs for children 5 years of age and younger.  

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2017-2018 Traditional Drop-off Programs:

Our Saplings classes (4 day AM and 4 day PM) are for children 3 to 5 years of age. Classes meet Mondays through Thursdays, September through May. AM class meets 8:30-11:45 am and PM class meets 12:45-3:15 pm. Applicants need to be 3 years of age by September 1, 2017.

Our Oaks class (5 day) is for children aged 4 & 5. This program acts as a transitional Kindergarten program for late 4's and 5 year olds. Class meets from 9 am-2 pm on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 am-12 pm for all outdoor Fridays.  Applicants need to be 4 years of age by May 1, 2017.

2016-2017 Parent & Child Programs:

Our Acorns (Tagalong) class is for children aged 4 and younger along with a parent or caregiver. Classes meet on Thursdays and take place entirely outdoors (weather permitting) on our 40-acre nature sanctuary. 50% sibling discounts offered for families enrolling more than one child in the class.

Our Sprouts (Parent-Tot) class is for children aged 2 to 3 1/2 years and their favorite adults. Classes meet on Fridays and each student attends class with a parent or caregiver. Applicants need to be 2 years of age by September 1, 2017.

The Preschool is located in the Edwin Way Teale Learning Center at the Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Children benefit from exploring the natural surroundings of the 40-acre sanctuary, which offer endless opportunities for investigation and discovery. The children's education is enriched by programs led by Director Stephanie Bozzo, Classroom Teachers Ryan Frye, Amelia McLaughlin, Shannon Earle, Chelsea Hawk, Katrina Kugel, Ruth Polk, and ANS staff naturalists.

Programs for 5's & under:

Parent & child class
Drop-off class




 Class Days Hours Tuition Age by
September 1
Class size Caregiver
attends with child
Acorns Thursdays 9:30-11:00am  $90/month 4 yrs. and
18 yes




2-3 years 

10  yes 
AM Saplings Mon-Thurs 8:45-11:45am $795/month 3-5 years 16 no
Mon-Thurs 12:45-3:15pm  $695/month 3-5 years 16  no 
Oaks Mon-Fri

M-Th: 9 am-2pm
Fri: 9 am-12pm 

$1350/month 4-5 years 12 no

Helpful Information for choosing the right class:

Class Unique Features
Acorns This 90 minute "Thursday Tagalong" class is held entirely outdoors on sanctuary grounds and is designed to foster shared nature discovery for you and your child. Younger siblings (under age 1) are welcome to join at no additional cost. Sibling discounts are offered when enrolling more than one child.
Sprouts This 2 hour "Parent-tot" class offers an opportunity for a small group of 2's and 3's to explore our nature sanctuary with their favorite adult and one of our Nature School teachers. The class is a balance of outdoor and indoor activities which gives you a "preview" of our Nature School.
Our drop-off program on Mondays through Thursdays for 3-5 year olds offers endless opportunities for learning and discovery on the sanctuary and in our classroom. Our days include lots of outdoor time exploring the nature trails, circle time with songs and stories, and hands-on activities in the classroom.
Oaks Forest Kindergarten is an ideal class for older fours and younger fives who would benefit from a year of nature school before beginning a structured kindergarten or first grade. Forest Kindergarten Oaks class meets Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am-2 pm and also includes all-outdoor Fridays from 9 am-12 pm. Our longer days include incredible opportunities for confidence building and risk taking as well as extended blocks of time for learning, growing and PLAYING!

2017-2018 Open House Dates

  • Friday, November 11, 2016 (12-1 pm)
  • Friday, December 9, 2016 (1-2 pm)
  • Saturday, December 10, 2016 (9:30-11 am)
  • Saturday, January 28, 2017 (9:30-11 am)
  • Saturday, February 11, 2017 (9:30 am-11 am)

2017-2018 Admissions

Applications are accepted year-round; however, applications received by February 15, 20167will receive preference. Applications from current and active ANS members also receive preference. Acceptance letters are sent to parents in March.

Outdoor Preschools Take Children Into Living Classroom - NationalJournal



Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them. The Audubon Nature Preschool builds on children's inherent curiosity about the world by using hands-on, nature-based activities to foster social, physical, and academic skill development. The 40-acre outdoor environment and Edwin Way Teale Learning Center serve as natural venues for language, artistic, and musical expression as well as scientific observations and discoveries. Our preschool teachers plan age-appropriate activities that integrate science, math, literacy, and the arts while encouraging cooperative learning and social competence.

A Child's Day in Nature

leaf girlAt the Audubon Nature Preschool, our goal is to facilitate the development of academic, social and physical skills through interactions with the natural world. The following quote by Edwin Way Teale, the naturalist for whom our children's Learning Center is named, exemplifies the type of connection with nature we strive to make with our students. In the quote, Teale asks you to look at life through the eyes of a Daddy long legs: Imagine walking on legs so long you could cover a mile in fifty strides! Imagine looking to either side through eyes set not in your head but in a ... hump in your back! Imagine yourknees, when you walked, working a dozen feet or more above your head. 
~ Edwin Way Teale

Children unravel the wonders of the natural world through a balance of self- and teacher-directed activities. Each day at the Audubon Nature Preschool follows a familiar rhythm of indoor play, circle time, snack and outdoor investigations. On our 40-acre nature sanctuary, children explore ecologically diverse aquatic, forest, and meadow habitats. Watching birds from our bird blind, looking under logs for creepy-crawlies, and using nets to explore the pond enrich a curriculum that integrates science, math, literacy, and the arts. Cooperative learning and social competence are developed through group and individual activities.    Follow our Blog

ANP in the News

stephanie fall08»  Force of Nature: A Chevy Chase preschool encourages learning outside the box,
Jan-Feb, 2012, Bethesda Magazine.
»   Nature's Classroom, WAMU report of Audubon Nature Preschool, April 7, 2010 (scroll down to middle of page)

For Preschool Educators

Audubon Nature Preschool teachers presented "Growing Life-Long Planetpals: Instilling Earth-Friendly Values at Preschool" at the First Annual Nature Preschool Conference at the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mill, Maryland in June 2012.

Please click links below for handouts.

Growing Life-Long Planetpals:
Instilling Earth-Friendly Values at Preschool
Stephanie Bozzo and Katie Rooney, The Audubon Nature Preschool

Learn from the experiences of others! Stephanie and Katie share nature-based curriculum ideas that cover all domains of development. Presenters showcase how The Audubon Nature Preschool educates young children and families about the importance of making choices that protect our health, air, water, land and wildlife. A sampling of age-appropriate, hands-on activities provides opportunities for participants to interact indoors and out. Activities are designed to foster life-long values of eco-consciousness, respect for all living things and each person's responsibility to care for the Earth. You will walk away with loads of lesson plan ideas for your program!

Contact Us

301-652-9188 x32


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