Granby Nature Preschool is a farm and nature preschool for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds in Granby, Connecticut. Ours is a 5-day program for morning, afternoon, or full-day. Children are outside every day hiking, planting, tending, exploring, wondering, discovering, building, running, and playing. Our home base is at Holcomb Farm, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm with active, sustainable community-based vegetable gardens and some 300 acres of meadows, pastures, streams, ponds, forests, and trails. GNP is part of the Granby Parks & Recreation programs.

Ours is a place-based program, meaning that we believe children learn essential skills and concepts most appropriately when they are guided to focus first on their immediate environment. We embrace outdoor living and learning, with fresh air, immersion within the changes of weather and seasons, and the discovery of the wonders of the plants and animals of our world.

Granby Nature Preschool will follow the Connecticut State Standards of Learning for 3’s, 4’s and 5’s. All concepts and skills as stated in the standards are seamlessly integrated into the immersive experiences of farm and nature, and unfold within an age-appropriate balance between free play and exploration, and guided learning. Children enhance their knowledge, concepts and skills through music, movement and art. It is through these opportunities that children also learn about relationships and interdependence among themselves and their classmates, their families, and their neighborhood farms, natural settings and plant and animal communities.

GNP’s goal is to also offer other learning activities using the rich resources within our community. Granby is an extraordinary town with more than 30 farms, access to a game preserve, impressive land trust properties, and nature trails. Like many towns in New England Granby’s values of farm, community and land are a significant part of Granby’s vision. It makes sense to offer young children a solid grounding within a community we all love through experiential, integrated learning in these farm and nature settings.

These Immersion Excursions, when they are a reality, will be on Fridays, up to two per month. They are a family-centered experience. We require families to transport and be with children at the chosen site. In addition to the goal of learning together, because we are off of our Holcomb Farm site parent transportation and supervision is essential. These visits to local farms, orchards, McLean Game Preserve, and other ponds, streams and nature trails in Granby are led by a farmer, gardener, park ranger or other specialist to give children an in-depth look and an introduction to nature-based places and members of our community.