Nature-based Learning



Cove Country School is a licensed nature-based preschool program for children ages 3-5 years, located in Hudson, WI. We strive to develop each child’s intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth through the care and stewardship of farm animals, nature exploration and hands-on learning experiences.

Classes are kept small (maximum 8 students/class) in order to develop the unique interests and abilities of each child. Children are encouraged to learn about themselves, others and the world. Activities are designed to develop each child’s self-confidence, curiosity and problem solving skills. Classes remain consistent throughout the school year in order to promote friendships and growing social skills.



What does it mean to be a nature-based school?

Walking through the woods
observing the chickens

At Cove Country School, your child will have daily experiences in nature and opportunities to learn about him or herself, the environment, and the world.

Nature-based activities happen indoors and outdoors; through group and individual activities. Activities are set by the teacher, but often children bring their own insight and ideas that allow for spontaneity.

Children are encouraged to:
  • Make observations
  • Satisfy their natural curiousity
  • Make discoveries
  • Appreciate the beauty of nature
  • Build an understanding of themselves in relation to others and the natural world
  • Experiment
  • Begin to understand and use language arts, math, creative arts and science
  • Begin to appreciate, respect and care for themselves, others, animals and the earth.
We will offer experiences which may be different from other preschool programs:
  • Children will have daily experiences with animals. This can take the form of enjoying a classroom pet, visiting our farm animals, or observing animals in their natural habitat while hiking through the woods, prairie or to the St. Croix River all located on or near our school. The school currently includes: goats, chickens, rabbits, a peacock and cats. The children help feed the animals as part of their day if they choose. Collect eggs when they are available. Children always have adult supervision when taking care of the animals.
  • Children will have daily experiences with plant life. We will grow plants in the classroom and in gardens in our play area.
Children will have many of the same learning experiences offered in a traditional preschool program:
  • Children will have daily “table time” activities exploring preschool literacy, math and science concepts.
  • Children will have opportunities to explore a variety of art mediums.
  • Children will have daily group activities designed to develop Kindergarten readiness skills.



Is Cove Country School the right school for your child?


Show and tell the findingsCove Country School is more appropriate for children who do not suffer from severe allergies. Children will be exposed to hay, pollen, animal dander, seeds, and other potential allergens attributed to being outdoors. Children will need to feel well enough for vigorous active outdoor experiences. “Just staying inside today” to avoid exposure to these allergens is not an option.

Cove Country School is more appropriate for children whose families support discovery based learning more than an “academics” only program. Many of the experiences children have at Cove Country School will not provide a product such as a craft or worksheet. Children are building knowledge from their first-hand experiences with nature, classroom materials, and their relationships with peers and adults. Children will participate in a full early literacy, math and science program and be well prepared to enter Kindergarten.

Cove Country School is more appropriate for children whose families understand that discovery based learning can be messy business! Children need to come dressed for messy, outdoor play. Layers of clothing for changing weather and moving from indoors and outdoors are needed for children to take part in the variety of activities we offer. Shoes good for hiking, climbing, and walking through mud, snow, and uneven surfaces are needed for our adventures outdoors. Clothing that can be covered in mud, paint, clay, and other materials of discovery based learning are a must everyday!