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Developed to help participants learn, grow, and foster meaningful connections with the environment, individuals, and life around them.


Fall Sessions

Fall Sessions engage participants in child-led, educator-supported learning experiences.

Each day will combine seasonal-centric activities that consider the importance of Fall in the natural world. Participants will be encourage to engage with the harvest and abundance that surrounds them, while considering the preparation work that has yet to be done for the winter ahead. It's this balance of present experience and future planning that will help to install valuable life lessons.

Our Fall Session | 2024 will run for a total of 12 weeks.

Seasonal Program: Children aged 5-13 years: 1, 2, or 3-days per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday. School hours are from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM.


Kinder-Garden Sessions

The original kindergarten—the children’s garden—conceived by German educator Friedrich Froebel in the 19th century, was a place where children learned through play, often in nature.He believed that play is the principal means of learning in early childhood. In play, children construct their understanding of the world through direct experience with it.

At The Three Sisters Village, we are intentionally stepping into the re-creation of the children’s garden. We offer a space for children to be and grow exactly as they are. Allowing them to lead their own inquiries, engage in active exploration and most importantly, experience the joy and wonder of play. Regular and repeated exposure to the environment at the Homestead offers a unique learning experience in which children develop a connection to one another, the land and all living things.

Kinder-Garden Program: Children aged 3.8-6: 1 or 2 days a week on Monday and/or Friday, running alongside all seasonal sessions outlined below.


Winter Sessions

Winter Sessions engage participants in child-led, educator-supported learning experiences that focus on rest and rejuvenation. Each day will combine indoor and outdoor learning activities that encourage sustainable development and living.

Throughout the Winter season, our focus is on continuing to grow while being mindful of the world at rest around us. To do this, we combine indoor and outdoor activity with ample time for rest and reset, instilling the values necessary to successfully navigate the busy seasons – and life – that lie ahead.

Our Winter Session | 2024 will run for a total of 8 weeks.

Seasonal Program: Children aged 5-13 years: 1, 2, or 3-days per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday. School hours are from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM.


Spring Sessions

Spring Sessions engage participants in child-led, educator-supported learning experiences. Each day starts with a group circle, where we learn songs and stories connecting us to the natural world.

Throughout the Spring season, our focus is on connecting with the blossoming world that surrounds us. To do this, we climb, hike, and explore, acquiring new skills by taking part in unstructured and risky play. Our Spring Sessions connect participants to the Land, encouraging community involvement and environmental stewardship while instilling valuable lessons for life.

Our Spring Session | 2025 will run for a total of 12 weeks.

Seasonal Program:
Children aged 5-13 years: 1, 2, or 3-days per week on Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday. School hours are from 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM.


Program Cornerstones

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the children outside in all weather?

The Forest and Nature School philosophy encourages children to be outside regardless of weather. In rare instances of severe weather, including thunderstorms, heavy rain, heavy snow, strong winds and severe temperatures, an indoor learning space is available.  During our Winter Session for both the Seasonal Program and Toddler Program, participants will spend a portion of the day in the indoor learning spaces.

Where does my child go to the washroom?

At the homestead there are 2 washroom facilities the children can use with hand washing stations. It is recommended that all participants be able to use the washroom independently.

What are the benefits of Forest and Nature School and experiencing the Homestead?

Children who attend our programs here at the Homestead benefit from a unique experience. The land here invites us to listen and observe, play, learn together, become excited about new discoveries, and use our imaginations.

In small mixed aged groups in an outdoor setting, participants are able to develop theories, questions and ideas that drive the learning process. By having access to the barn animals, gardens, and forest, participants deepen their relationship with the living world.  Repeated interaction with all living things encourages the children to develop relationships with the more-than-human world and helps widen their boundaries for compassion.

You can learn more about the benefits of outdoor learning from the following:

Child & Nature Alliance of Canada
Ontario Children’s Outdoor Charter
Green Teacher
Forest School Association
The Wild Network
Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
York Region Nature Collaborative

What qualifications and certification do the guides have?

Every guide at The Three Sisters Village is First Aid and CPR certified, and holds a current clean Vulnerable Sector Criminal Reference Check.

Our guides are either Ontario Certified Teachers, or Early Childhood Educators and have many years of experience working with young children. They also hold additional qualifications such as Forest School Practitioner and/or Outdoor Experiential Educator.

Will my child be in a group with other children their age?

The Kinder-Garden Program that runs on Monday's and Friday's will have children of the same age between 3 and 5 years of age.

The Seasonal Programs are for school aged children between the ages of 4 and 12 years.  While some activities will be modified to meet the needs, abilities, and interest of every participant, we encourage and value the benefits of age-mixed play. We all have so much to learn from one another, in a community that values the experiences and perspectives of each individual.

Peter Gray, an American psychology researcher and scholar who is known for his work on the interaction between education and play, and for his evolutionary perspective on psychology theory presents the following information about age-mixed play. The age-mixed play offers opportunities for learning and development not present in play among those close in age, permitting younger children to learn more from older playmates than they could from playing with only their peers. In age-mixed play, the more sophisticated behavior of older children offers role models for younger children, who also typically receive more emotional support from older kids than from those near their own age. Age-mixed play also permits older children to learn by teaching and to practice nurturance and leadership; and they are often inspired by the imagination and creativity of their younger playmates.

What is the guide to child ratio?

The guide to child ratio for the Kinder-Garden Program is 1:6 and 1:8 for the Seasonal Programs

Is risky play safe?

At The Three Sisters Village we provide an environment that supports children in taking healthy risks during play.  Our guides use a variety of risk assessment tools to support both planned and spontaneous experiences. Risky play is not by any means hazardous play.  At The Three Sisters Village, we encourage playtime that allows children to self manage the risks they take, while the guides manage and eliminate the hazards. The definitions and example below will outline what we mean by ‘risk’ and the difference between ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’.

Risk vs. Hazard

Risk: is a challenge or uncertainty that a child can recognize in their environment and determine whether to engage with it or not.

Hazard: is a danger in the environment that is beyond your child’s understanding and can result in severe injury or endangerment.

Healthy, manageable risks play an important role in the development of children. We believe that by challenging themselves, children build resilience, overcome fears, increase self esteem, build physical and emotional competence, problem solve, and learn to keep themselves safe.

Does my child have to be toilet trained to attend the programs?

At The Three Sisters Village we support toilet training.  We value and respect that all children develop at their own pace and rhythm.  We will work in collaboration with the family to encourage independent toilet use and offer support when needed. Additional items such as wipes, small bags for soiled clothing and/or pull ups, and extra clothing may be requested.

Are there any scheduled nap/rest & snack/lunch times during the day?

At The Three Sisters Village we model and encourage children to become increasingly aware of their bodily cues and take steps to meet the need for food, water, rest and play. We gather twice a day for storytime and/or storytelling during which we invite children to eat and drink while they interact with the story.  We also respect that children may not feel hungry or thirsty at this time and trust that they will feed their bodies when they feel hunger/thirst cues. We also have many spaces and equipment for children to engage in rest and relaxation. The swings, speaker with soothing music, the sounds of nature, padded mats, hammocks and/or bin of blankets are readily available if a child requests to take a break. Taking naps during the day will remain the choice of the child and supported by the guides by helping the child set up for rest.