5 Nature Programs for Kids in Nova Scotia

girl playing in the tall grass

We are so lucky to live in Nova Scotia where we have such beautiful landscapes all around. You’re never far from the ocean, there are great hikes all over and we truly have some incredible waterfalls. My own family thrives on the outdoors. My husband, Ryan and I actually spend any “dates” we are able to squeeze in out hiking or exploring nature together. That’s truly our happy place and we always knew that we wanted to share that love of nature with our children. I want them to understand, appreciate and respect our planet and the world that surrounds us. I know I’m not alone in that and other families are also looking for ways to get their gets out into nature (plus make some new friends!). If you’re a reader, I highly suggest checking out Free to Learn by Peter Gray or Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.

Benefits of getting children out into nature:

  • Increases self-esteem
  • Learn to challenge themselves
  • Improves concentration, creativity, cognitive development and self-awareness
  • Relieves stress
  • Bonding with friends and family
  • Learning about our natural world

I did some of my own research and here are nature programs that we have in Nova Scotia. Scroll down to check them all out and if you have any more to add to the list please let me know!

children playing on kingsport beach

Wild Child Forest School

Wild Child Forest School is all about child-led, play-based learning through exposure to nature and focusing on healthy risk-taking experiences. They offer both full and half-day drop-off programs through Spring and Fall that are 1x per week (4-7 weeks total). During the summer, they run programs one week at a time (Monday – Friday). Their groups are 3 to 5-year-olds (must be fully potty trained), 4 to 6-year-olds, 6 to 9-year-olds, 9 to 12-year-olds and a mixed aged group of 5 to 10-year-olds.

Website: www.wildchildns.wordpress.com
Social Media: Instagram | Facebook
Location: Based in Halifax and throughout the HRM area

Roots And Boots Forest School

Roots and Boots Forest School is a program for kids ages 3 to 12-years-old and is all about child-led, play and inquiry-based learning. They incorporate Mi’kmaq language and teachings into all of their programs as well.
Website: www.rootsandboots.ca
Social Media: Instagram | Facebook
Location: Pickups and drop-offs are in Upper Tantallon and Fall River, NS
girl playing in the woods in annapolis valley, ns

Flying Squirrel Adventures

Flying Squirrel Adventures offers a variety of programs such as Queer/Trans friendly hikes (all ages), Nature For Newcomers, Girls Outdoor Adventure & Leadership (ages 13-16), Forest Play (ages 3-5), Trailblazers (ages 5-9 and 7-10) and Fireside Connections (ages 16-18).

Website: www.valleyflyingsquirrel.wordpress.com
Social Media: Facebook
Location: Typically around Kentville or Wolfville, NS

 

Nova Scotia Young Naturalists Club

NS Young Naturalists Club is a yearly membership that costs only $25 and is a family-based program. The different chapters host various events that are typically monthly throughout the year.

Website: www.yncns.ca
Social Media: Facebook
Location: Halifax, East Hants, Musquodoboit Valley and Cape Breton

 

Forest Friends

This is a Facebook group that was created by a homeschooling family and has grown into a really sweet community of all types of families who love the outdoors. They organize weekly activities or hikes for multiple ages on Wednesdays.

Join the group here
Location: Annapolis Valley

nature programs in nova scotia for children Looking to get your kids out into nature more often? Maybe you’re looking to make some new friends or even to explore new places around your local area? The programs above are a great start! If none of them are nearby, I would even suggest reaching out to them to see if they have any resources to offer you so that you’re able to start your own!

If you’re wanting something more that you can do anytime, anywhere with your own children, then you should check out Explore Nature with Children by Raising Little Shoots. It’s an amazing year-round nature program that you can put into action today. You’re able to make the activities easier or more challenging depending on age and abilities. Exploring Nature with Children is often used by homeschoolers, forest schools and parents from all over!

While you’re here, take a peek at some more great local features:

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