Nature Kindergarten

Elk Island Catholic Schools

Connecting children to nature fostering rich learning experiences, ecological literacy and healthy living.

NEW! Enrichment Programming at EICS : Nature Kindergarten

Nature kindergarten is an optional program available to children at Holy Redeemer and children in Ardrossan, Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan (based out of Holy Redeemer) ; as well as Vegreville (based out of St. Martin's). This early years enrichment opportunity will allow children to spend the vast majority of their day outside, engaged in meaningful ways with their body, mind and spirit while located in a natural setting.

Children attend their EICS community Kindergarten program THEN attend Nature Kindergarten on alternating days.

Working as a group of explorers, driven by their own curiosity children will be given outdoor opportunities for self-directed learning through play. Using multiple natural learning environments, children will develop confidence in their own abilities to investigate and to collaborate. Children will be physically active and engaged in movement skills that will facilitate their balance, stamina and strength.

Open House

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

6:00 p.m.

Holy Redeemer Catholic School

Ardrossan, AB

Open House Video
Big picture

Role of the Educator

Children are supported by trained, certificated educators who have prepared a curriculum for the Nature Kindergarten.

The responsibilities of Nature Kindergarten educators are wide-ranging and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • providing routine and structure in which to nurture wonder and elicit learning
  • observing, reflecting, and scaffolding individual competencies; "What does each child need next?"
  • modeling care and respect for the natural world, as well as the tools and supplies ensuring the physical safety of participants by co-assessing and co-managing risk with them on an ongoing basis.
  • considering the social and emotional safety of participants, and endeavouring to foster a caring and respectful community so that the risk taking and question posing necessary for deep, inquiry-based learning can occur.

Staff : Participant Ratios

The ratios between Nature Kindergarten educators and participants vary depending on enrollment but is generally 1 educator for every 6 children.

Strathcona Wilderness Centre - Collaborative Partner

The Strathcona Wilderness Centre is a four season outdoor adventure centre located in the Beaver Hills Biosphere which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It represents an island of boreal mixed wood forest, the hummocky "knob and kettle" terrain of the moraine forms a patchwork of depressional areas, many of which support wetlands small lakes and streams. Both boreal and parkland animal and plant species can be found in the area.

The SWC is open year round and is located at 52535 Range Road 212, Ardrossan, AB.



  • $400 per month for children participating in an EICS Community Kindergarten.
  • $100.00 per month for children receiving Program Unit Funding from Alberta Education.


Transportation will be provided from Sherwood Park to Holy Redeemer. Details to follow.