|Natureplay Preschool offers Open House, variety of stand-alone programs during April and May|
An open house and number of new stand-alone activities for young children, including organized hikes and other nature-related activities, are planned during April at the Natureplay Preschool located at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee.
Natureplay Preschool is a discovery-based learning program for ages three through five. While the program offers half-day preschool with two-, three-, to five-days-a-week options, these new stand-alone programs are meant to supplement other learning opportunities and provide children extended opportunities for outdoor exploration. Natureplay Director Rosanna Munoz holds degrees in biology and early childhood education has been leading JCPRD early childhood programs since 2002.
The Natureplay Open House will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 and is expected to last about an hour.
"The open house will give parents the opportunity to see the indoor and outdoor classrooms," Munoz said. "I'll be presenting information about the program and answering any questions that parents may have. If they want to bring their children, they're welcome, and I'll have some activities set up.
Ready, Set, Hike is the name of a new series of hikes, which will take place on Wednesdays during April and May. Each week, Munoz will lead young participants on a one and one-half-hour walk on different portions of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Gary L. Haller Trail, located in the Mill Creek Streamway Park. Each session will begin at 9:30 a.m. rain or shine and the cost is $5 per child per hike. Sign up for one or all eight hikes. Each week, participants will meet at a different trail access point. On April 3, it will be at the 18459 Prairie Star Parkway access point, Lenexa. On April 10, it will be at the 19803 W. 87th Lane access point, Lenexa. On April 17, meet in Shawnee Mission Park near Shelter #8 by the north end of the dam, Lenexa. And on April 24, it will be at the 19425 Wilder Drive access point, Shawnee. Additional Ready, Set, Hike sessions will take place on May 1, 8, 15, and 22.
Another new offering is a series of stand-alone one-and-one-half-hour nature programs which take place each Friday during April and May. These include an April 19 Nature Scavenger Hunt, and an April 26 program called Terrific Trees. Both of these programs meet on Fridays at the Barker Road Access Point, and cost $12 per child. For the scavenger hunt, participants will enjoy a morning on the trail looking for nature’s treasures. Terrific Trees will be a celebration of Arbor Day where stories, crafts, and a short walk will give participants opportunities to discover the beauty of trees. Both of these programs will meet rain or shine, but in the event of inclement weather, Terrific Trees will move inside the Mill Creek Activity Center. Friday nature activities will continue during May with a May 3 session called Mud Puddles, a May 10 program called Mother’s Day Planters, a May 17 session called Little Sprouts, and a May 24 session called Outdoor Arts.
Register for Ready, Set, Hike here (www.jcprd.com), and the other programs here (www.jcprd.com). For questions about Natureplay Preschool or the stand-alone programs, call Munoz at (913) 826-2958.