Open house to be held Jan. 24, Jan. 30 for preschool at Monk Botanical Gardens

WAUSAU, Wisconsin (WSAW) – Families looking to learn more about Monk Botanical Garden’s kindergarten have a few options this month.

Sprouts Garden Preschool is a garden and nature-based preschool program for children ages 3-5.

Elise Schuler is the Education and Events Manager at Monk Botanical Gardens. She said kindergartens are very unique in that they allow children to spend as much time outside as possible.

“So in the fall and spring they may not go inside the house at all while they are at school. But our goal is for them to learn in the nature around them,” Schuler said.

Schuler explained that 3- to 5-year-olds may not be ready to sit at the table or be in the classroom all day.

“Being outside really gives you the freedom to run and play, and it helps you develop your motor skills, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. It helps you build independence and confidence in a freer way.” And all of that movement really prepares children to learn, it taps into their energy and their brains are ready to absorb all the information we are going to give them.

Students at Sprouts Garden Preschool start their day with play. The lesson begins with a talk about the weather and the days of the week.

“Kids go on strange walks. It’s very important. Then we talk, we eat snacks, we do all the normal preschool things, and we play at the end of the day,” Schuler said.

She said outdoor learning has many benefits.

“Kids are asking their families to get out more and go hiking. Kids go home and teach their parents how to identify trees, which is really unique and fun,” Schuler explains.

Sprouts is hosting two open house events. January 24th and January 30th from 5pm to 7pm. Families are welcome to drop by during these dates. The Monk Botanical Gardens are located at 1800 N. 1st Ave. in Wausau.

Registration opens on February 1st for Garden members and February 8th for non-members.

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