Natural Discovery now offers forest school fun for the whole family!
Discover Nature is designed for families with children ages 3-10, but all ages are welcome to attend! A parent or guardian is required to attend with the child. This program enables families to play and learn outdoors together. Join us weekly at Camp Manitoqua in Frankfort, IL as we explore science, engineering, art, and math through nature play and activities.
There will be plenty of woodland art, critter hikes, forest music, log crossing, puddle splashing, fort building, friend making fun. Different stations are supplied with play-based, academic activities for parents to facilitate for their children. No parent prep necessary; just come ready to have fun and learn together as a family. This program is ideal for homeschoolers and e-learners.
Come dressed for the weather! Each session of our program is fully outdoors and features six to eight unique stations where parents are given instructions for our engaging activities. With an eight family limit and plenty of space between groups, safe social distancing is practiced. Learn solo as a family or bring friends and let your children learn and explore together.
What you get
Natural Discovery provides playful yet educational supplies and activities for you and your children to interact with in nature. You will gain access to Camp Manitoqua's beautiful site full of trails to explore, logs to climb on, and wildlife to discover. Each week features new stations with activities to explore, enabling the learning to be play-based, child-led, and parent facilitated. It won't feel like school, and the children won't know they're learning as they play! You can choose to socialize and interact with like-minded families, or keep your distance and only interact as an individual family. You may do the presented activities or choose to play and explore instead.
How to join
Enroll today by completing a family application. Your spot isn't reserved until we've received full payment. We now accept credit card payments through our "pay now" option above. A processing fee of 3.5% will be applied to all credit card payments. We also accept digital payments through Zelle which can be sent to .
Enrollment in Nature Discovery consist of four weeks of six to eight outdoor stations each week. Most families will complete four activities per visit.
The monthly enrollment fee is $100 per family which includes a month of Discover Nature.
There's no such thing as bad
weather, only bad clothes.
How to Dress for All-Weather Play
Dressing your children for a day outdoors can be intimidating. How many layers will your child need to stay warm when it's freezing out? What do they need to stay dry? Put uncertainty aside, as we equip you with the knowledge to weather the storm and get outside, no matter the weather.
Layering is key! Some days are 1-layer clothing days, some 2-layer days, some 3- layers. It is much easier to take layers off as needed than to warm a child that has already gotten chilled.
The children’s needs throughout the day are often unpredictable and will depend not only on the weather conditions but also the child’s body temperature and activity level.
In the winter, wearing 2 layers of wool long underwear underneath a thick wool sweater and fleece pants is the most effective way to layer children under their rain gear in order to keep them warm without feeling too bulky.
We’re going to get dirty! Please make sure you dress your children in clothes they can get messy. All clothing and footwear should be loose fitting and roomy to allow the body’s own insulating layer to surround the skin.
Lightweight rain pants or quick-dry long pants: long pants rather than short pants are important to protect legs from thorns, insects, poison ivy etc.
No denim jeans please.
Rain boots with lightweight socks
When temperatures are cooler: long-sleeved tops and/or rain jackets
Rain boots (with one or two pairs of socks)
Full rain gear (hooded jacket and pants)
Two-piece long underwear--silk or wool is best, but polyester is also a good choice.
Silk or wool socks
Mittens and a hat: wool or fleece is warmest.