Hiking Boots

Forest Explorers

Forest Explorers is an outdoor forest school enrichment program designed for children in Kindergarten through 1st grade. Choose to enroll 1-3 days per week during the school year. Each class begins by doing early literacy activities through play and song as a group. The curriculum topics are chosen and constructed by the students. Our forest school teachers will use the students' interests to provide supplemental activities and learning opportunities. Students will have exposure to many hands-on art and science projects that will help them retain important concepts and information through child-led and play-based learning in the forest.


Forest explorers is a part-time nature immersion for 5-7-year-olds meant to be used as a supplement to traditional academic learning. Our teachers will weave science, math, literacy, phonics and reading activities into our child-led curriculum, and help children explore academic topics through hands-on experiences. Forest school leans heavily on social-emotional development which directly impacts academic development. Our main focus is instilling a love for learning in students that will last a lifetime. We believe school should be fun and hands-on, filled with opportunities for children to pursue their interests and advance with confidence. Our Reggio teaching philosophy places great importance on the learning environment, which is why we believe in our students learning in the richest environment on earth: nature. Students will spend their time at forest school outdoors making inquires, doing research, building relationships, problem-solving, building their confidence, and completing hands-on projects based on their studies. Each month, our teachers will write-up a newsletter review of the students interests, studies and projects for parents to review at home.


Forest explorers will meet during the school year on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am-12pm. Choose to enroll 1-3 days per week. Our low-ratio class is limited to 14 students with a ratio of at least 1:7. This program will meet at our private forest school site in Mokena, IL with access to our heated schoolhouse building during inclement weather.


Dress for the weather, we meet outside rain or shine! Each class, your child will be immersed in nature learning practical skills and working on child-led projects with their peers. Whether we're studying birds, building shelters using real tools, or tapping trees for maple sap, your child will be under the direction and supervision of two of our trained forest school teachers. This class will help your child build confidence, independence, problem solving skills, critical thinking and collaboration. Many of these skills translate directly into academics and will help students excel in every task and learning subject.


Our motto at forest school is: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." Appropriate clothing for forest school is CRITICAL to the success of the program. Clothing guidelines are available in the parent handbook. Our experienced teachers will be there to guide you every step of the way to ensure the safety of students in all weather situations. During periods of inclement weather, students will be gathered indoors, or class will be cancelled if necessary.




Due to our small class sizes and large demand, new students must submit an application, located at the top of this page to enroll. There is a non-refundable $25 fee associated with the application. Once an application is submitted, applicants will be invited to tour our facility and attend a mini orientation to make sure forest school is the best fit before committing to the school year. If there is no space, applicants will be placed on a waiting list for the remainder of the school year. Registration will be filled based on the date the application and fee are  submitted.


1. Submit an application and fee.

2. You will be contacted within 2 weeks to schedule a tour and mini orientation.

3. If there is space on the day(s) you requested, you will start the registration process. 

4. If there is not space, you will be added to the waitlist until a spot opens up for you. 


Zelle payments for our non-refundable $25 application fee can be sent to Rachel@freehavenfs.com. There is no fee associated with Zelle transactions. If you need alternative payment options, please let us know on the application.

Paypal payments can be made using the payment button below. There is a 4.5% processing fee associated with all Paypal transactions. 

Application Fee