A Focus on the Whole Child


Robin's Nest Nature Preschool is a unique preschool program that focuses on the whole child through creative explorations in nature, play, art, music, and academics.

Located in the heart of the Monadnock Region, in West Peterborough, New Hampshire, Robin's Nest gives children opportunities to learn, grow, thrive and connect with the natural world and their local communities. Striving to build awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things, Robin's Nest staff and students spend almost all of their time outside witnessing and following the natural rhythm of the seasons. Robin's Nest students learn primarily through play and a focus on what is happening to the animals and plants that surround them in their learning environment each day.

With their senses stimulated by the sights, sounds, smells, and things they can touch and taste outside– digging and building in the sandbox, collecting acorns, pulling carrots, hopping over logs, climbing trees, balancing on beams, crunching through the snow, collecting sap and sipping syrup, pressing fall apples and tasting cider, and more – the students' gross motor and fine motor skills expand exponentially.

Robin's Nest believes that childhood is about exploration, experience, creativity, imagination and freedom. As such, Robin's Nest Staff work tirelessly and lovingly to mold the future generations in their care into kind, polite, thoughtful, empathetic, young environmentalists with a lasting love for and dedication to nature, who will take care of the Earth and its natural resources when they grow up.

Students, staff and families also engage extensively in the communities that surround them, from volunteering in the Cornucopia Project gardens to local nursing and retirement homes, to supporting the Harris Center. Robin's Nest families are also encouraged to give back to their own towns.

Serving between 35-40 children and their families each school year – with even wider population on premises during the popular nature summer camp – Robin's Nest students range in age from 18 months to six years old (serving preschool through kindergarten). Families travel from as far as Stoddard, Francestown and Antrim, and as close as a few houses down the street to join the Robin's Nest community.



The Tenets of Our Philosophy


Whole Child

We believe that a child's education should be centered on a balanced curriculum. We seek to develop the "whole child" focusing on cognitive, physical, social, emotional and creative skills. Our integrated curriculum is student-inspired and will benefit all types of learners.

Play-Based Learning

We value play as an important learning process in young children. Play is how children begin to understand their world and make connections. Through play, children can learn how to problem solve, take on different perspectives, and develop critical thinking and language skills.

Process Over Product

We believe that the process of learning far exceeds the end product. We want children to value their unique journey in learning by taking their own time to honor their process in a student-centered manner.  

Nature-Based Classroom

We believe that children are born naturalists with an innate curiosity to learn. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them. Robin's Nest builds on children's inherent curiosity about the world by using hands-on, nature-based activities to foster social, physical, and academic skill development.

Focus On Source

Our curriculum focus is based on source.  At Robin's Nest we want children to explore who they are, where they come from, where their food comes from, and how things grow and change.  By discovering that plants, animals, and humans all have their own roots, children understand that all things are connected especially in nature.  


Since they attend for at least two days per week over at least one full school year, preschool students are assured of far more direct contact time with the outdoors than students receive in nearly any other model of environmental education. In fact, each child enrolled in a nature preschool will usually enjoy hundreds of hours exploring and playing in natural settings during the course of his or her preschool experience.

This approach is more likely to generate life-changing experiences than are shorter, infrequent, cognitive-focused environmental education programs. In addition, nature preschools’ loosely-structured, daily outdoor explorations allow the time and opportunity for real discovery and play, as compared to traditional K-12 environmental education lessons that are scheduled, regulated, and confined by schools’ curriculum objectives.

The nature preschool model also provides exceptional support for the overall healthy growth and development of children. The daily explorations build valuable skills such as observation, experimentation, and sorting, while allowing for both individual experiences and group sharing. The children’s outdoor discoveries also provide great subjects for all manner of artistic and verbal expression, and the daily walks help to establish early habits of physical fitness.

Perhaps most of all, nature preschool students truly learn how to learn – developing the curiosity and joy that should pervade all education, while practicing key social skills such as sharing, waiting one’s turn, and following simple directions.
— “What is a Nature Preschool" by Ken Finch

We are part of the North American Association for Environmental Education and the Natural Start Alliance and a proud member of the Project Learning Tree Green School Alliance.