Grow with Us!

Toddler & Parent Forest Program

"These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children's memories, the adventures we've had together in nature will always exist.”—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Note: per C.D.C. guidelines, masks are now optional in the outdoors.


Learner Led, Teacher Supported

For 18-36 Month Olds & Their Parents (or Caregiver)

Parker’s rich and diverse outdoor environment sets the stage for wonder and curiosity. The program is simple by design. Our teachers let students follow their imagination and have the freedom to explore. Our mixed age groups, ages 18 months to 3 years, give the children — and their parent or caregiver — a chance to learn from each other.

Observe Small Miracles and Spend Time in Nature

There is an intrinsic relationship between children and nature. Children who spend time outside develop confidence, agility, balance, spatial awareness as well as the social and emotional skills of kindness and empathy. Being outside supports skills necessary for later learning.

As children notice and explore the rich and diverse campus through the seasons, small miracles of nature and child-development become apparent to child and adult alike.


playgroup activities for toddlers

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it”. –David Sobel

Explore Our Expansive Campus!

Parker has an expansive campus with 77-acres. Students have grassy hills to run and roll down, beautiful demonstration gardens to explore, woods to walk in, a pond, and streams to splash in. Fresh air and exercise give a toddler a good appetite and prepare them well for a rest in the afternoon.

Logistics & Dates

Class Description

The fully outdoor program is based on Parker's progressive philosophy & mission and is simple by design. Led by our lower school science teacher, Leiana Hawkins, children will be allowed to explore woods, streams, and meadows and let their curiosity be our guide. Our routines will include a group gathering time, a short walk to our dedicated outdoor classroom space, and time to explore a variety of ecosystems on campus.

Ages: 18 months to 3 years (able to walk independently over uneven terrain)

Time: 10am to 11:30am

Dates: Fall, Winter, Spring Sessions


  • Session 1 September 14, 21,28, October 5,12
  • Session 2 October 19, 26, November 2, 9,16
  • Session 3 November 23, 30, December 7,14
  • Session 4 January 4,11,18,25, February 1
  • Session 5 February 8,15, March 1,8,15
  • Session 6 March 22,29, April 5,12,26
  • Session 7 May 3,10,17,24,31


  • Session 1 September 9, 23,30, October 7
  • Session 2 October 14,21,28, November 4
  • Session 3 November 18, December 2,9,16
  • Session 4 January 6,13,20,27,February 3
  • Session 5 February 10,17, March 3, 10,17
  • Session 6 March 24,31 April 7, 14,28
  • Session 7 May 5,12,19,26, June 2

Program Tuition: $150 for each 5 week session ($120 for the 4 week sessions)

Meet our Facilitator, Leiana Hawkins

There was no question that the right teacher to pioneer this new program was our talented and much-loved lower school science teacher, Leiana Hawkins. Get to know Leiana...

Click Here to Read the Parker Snapshot- Spotlight on Forest Toddlers- An Interview with Leiana

Watch our Lower School Science video (below)...

Inquire to learn more about our toddler program…

Inquire to learn more, get updates, and join our email list for inspiring news about progressive education at Parker.

Select list(s) to subscribe to

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Robert C. Parker School, 4254 NY Route 43, Wynantskill, NY, 12198, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Register Online

Tuesday and/or Thursday Sessions


In Fall, Winter, & Spring