Growing in a Forest Classroom

FORESTplay provides children age 3-13 nature immersion experiences from September through May. 

FORESTplay is a 5 hour, 100% outdoor, nature immersion program for children 3yrs to 13yrs. We offer play experiences with a low adult/child ratio, small group size and developmentally appropriate age groups. Each day is filled with ample time to play, story time to ignite the imagination, nature exploration to connect with the environment and freedom to relax and reflect in a place of calm and serenity.


Rooted in the belief that children learn and develop through play and that nature evokes intrigue and excitement, awe and wonder, peace and calm; River’s Edge Forest Play takes early childhood learning to the essence of childhood.  With the whole-child in mind FORESTplay focuses on a child’s social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. The nature based environment inspires, challenges and ignites a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. Children become confident, resilient, compassionate, creative and kind in this premier child-led, inquiry-taught, natural learning environment.  

The River's Edge teaching method is distinguished by the combination of an entirely outdoor classroom, child interest learning, inquiry-based teaching style, and most importantly play. Our educational philosophy is that learning emerges organically from what nature presents and from the children's discoveries and imagination.  

2020-2021 Sessions

All groups run year long, Sept-May, from 9am-2pm. FORESTplay for children ages 3-6 offered with 1-day a week or two 2-day a week options. For children ages 7-13 there is a 1-day a week option. This program is a 9 month commitment with a $250 non-refundable deposit and monthly payments through May. Tuition is non-refundable.

Sessions begin the week of September 8, 2020 and run through Monday May 31, 2021.

We are off the week of Thanksgiving, the week of December 21, 2020, the week of December 28, 2020 and the week of March 29, 2021.



Ages 3-6yrs


Wednesday + Friday


Ages 3-6yrs




Ages 7-13yrs




Ages 3-6yrs




Ages 3-6yrs


Tuesday + Thursday


Ages 3-6yrs


Daily Schedule:

9:00-9:30am Gathering and free play

9:30-9:45am Trek to Camp

9:45-10:15am Free Play

10:15-11:00am Story & Snack

11:00-12:00pm Play & Sensory Experience

12:00-12:30pm Lunch

12:30-1:45pm Exploration & Adventure

1:45-2:00pm Nature Notes, Closure & Pick up

We maintain a familiar daily rhythm to provide a grounding general structure from which the children freely play. As children spend time in the same forest classroom each week they develop a sense of connectedness, mastery of environment, and awareness of changes in the forest. This awareness of seasonal and weather changes leads to great child-led, impromptu adventures. Our goals are to tap into a child's sense of wonder about nature and to give them the opportunity to freely explore with all their senses.

Our highly trained guides are experienced in child development and environmental education which brings a unique opportunity for learning and exploring to your child. Through keen observation of each child's strengths and areas for growth, guides invite the child into deeper challenges and new learning experiences specific to the child.


Teece Nowell Founding Director

PO Box 325

5030 Sudley Rd 

West River, MD 20778



A nature immersion program designed to nurture children through nature play.

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