Nature Preschool


Nature Based Learning

Our Nature Preschool founded in 2003, is one of the first of its kind in the nation. Housed in the Center’s Gold LEED certified building, the Preschool’s uniqueness stems from our strong commitment to both environmental education and active learning. Registration information here.

Based upon seasonal changes, our nature-based curriculum includes daily outdoor discovery of Schlitz Audubon’s diverse habitats, plus:

• Art

• Music

• Cognitive skill development

• Large and small motor skill development

• Nature science exploration

• Language experiences

• Math and manipulative activities

• Dramatic play

• Cooking and food experiences

Our preschoolers learn by doing – they climb on logs, search for insects, dig for worms, hike the trails, splash in puddles, play in the snow and get to know the Center’s resident reptiles, amphibians, and raptors. As a Nature Preschool, we spend the majority of our class time outside exploring throughout all of the seasons. With proper seasonal attire, our students learn to embrace the rain, snow, and sunshine alike, as well as any other weather Wisconsin has to offer. Students begin to develop a sense of place and an understanding of the natural world that surrounds us all.


Our Learning Environment

We are a fully-licensed, nine-month preschool offering morning or afternoon classes. The Preschool’s students are co-taught by highly educated and motivated teachers who offer years of early childhood and environmental education teaching experience. They also enjoy special programs taught by Center Naturalists. With 16 children in each of our three spacious classrooms, there is a maximum ratio of one teacher for every eight children. These ratios and our training requirements exceed requirements of the State of Wisconsin and meet the accreditation criteria set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


General Preschool Information

The Preschool is for children who are at least three years old by September 1st in the year of enrollment and are toilet trained. Please see our Preschool Parent Handbook.

If you feel your child might thrive in this kind of learning environment, please call (414) 352-2880 ext. 154 for a registration application or to schedule a visit. Applications will be accepted regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability, political affiliation and national origin.

Preschool classes are offered two or three mornings or two, three, or four afternoons a week.

Preschool Office Hours:

Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Closed major holidays, two weeks for winter break and one week for spring break


After School Care 30-Minute Extension

In 2016, we began offering a 30-minute After School Care extension program for parents or caregivers who may need additional time getting to Preschool to pick up their child. This is a good option if you have older children who get out of school at the same time our Preschool ends.

This program is offered in the afternoons only, Monday – Thursday, until 4:00pm. If you choose to enroll, one of our teachers will pick up your child at the end of the class time. Depending on the weather, they will either go outside to the Gardens Play Space or to one of the Preschool rooms for some additional playtime. In the winter months, we may take children down to the Great Hall to get hot chocolate, or to visit Emerson the Snapping Turtle, or any number of fun indoor activities. The teacher will remain with your child until you or your caregiver arrives to pick them up.

The cost of the program is $380 per semester with a limit of 8 children. Please contact Laurie Lukaszewicz at 352-2880 x154 if you would like to enroll your child.