YMCA of Barry County

SPROUTS Nature Based Learning

We believe kids excel when they are immersed in nature.

The YMCA’s nature based learning program will offer a unique educational experience for children to learn and grow in a positive outdoor atmosphere. While the majority of activities will be held outdoors, there is a full classroom set up for when we need to spend time indoors. Located at YMCA Camp Algonquin.

SPROUTS Preschool Age Learning

Skills-Play-Recreation OUTSide

Parents are encouraged to view or print our Family Handbook, our informational packet including drop-off and pick-up times, what to pack and not to pack, etc. Log into your account to update information and make additional payments.

  • Youth Age 3-5 years old
  • Weekly, Monday – Thursday
  • FALL: September 19 – December 16, 2022 (Fall Break Nov 23-25)
  • SPRING: January 17 – May 11, 2023 (Spring Break April 3-7)
  • 8:30 – 11:50 am
  • $100 per week

Enroll anytime as long as there is space!

Classes up to 10 students with 2 adult leaders. Through exploration and hands-on activities, the program will introduce social, emotional, and physical skills as well as early learner concepts in reading, writing, math, art, music and science. Theme related activities emphasize the process rather than the product, which allows early learners to have a sense of accomplishment. Snack served daily.

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What To Expect From SPROUTS

This program is specifically designed for young learners between the ages of 3 and 5 with a focus on learning while in nature. The program is scheduled to be outdoors at least 50 percent of the time. We believe that by being in nature, children benefit physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Nature inspires, refreshes, and nurtures us. 

Some topics and activities may include:

  • Outdoor components: recycling, wildlife, gardening, weather, music, art, fort building, basic target sports safety, outdoor classroom space, and the natural world around us. 
  • Traditional schooling components: Letters, numbers, colors, shapes, music, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. These are incorporated into daily activities.
  • Life skills components: friendship, working together, independence, communication skills and much more.
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Is this program open to all?

YES! This is open to home school students, remote learning students, or any other student that can attend during the time blocks.

Will the program start over each session?

No – our programming is progressive through out the year. While some activities may repeat, we plan to continually grow and expand as the weeks progress.

Is there a sibling discount?

No. However, if you pay in full by the end of the second FULL week during each session, you receive a $50 discount PER student. This is actually a greater amount than our normal sibling discount.

Is financial aid offered?

Yes – same as we offer for all other childcare programs. A maximum 50% scholarship may be given.

If the program has to stop due to COVID-19, will I receive a refund?

Yes – a prorated refund will be given should we have to close due to COVID-19 related issues.

Do 3 year olds need to be completely potty trained?

While we aim for participants to be bathroom independent, we understand accidents happen.

Will it be like camp was as far as drop off/pick up?

It will be a lot like camp drop off with families staying in the vehicle. However, SPROUTS will have the option to be walked in by ONE parent. 

How many students are in each program?

We have set the program to have 12 in SPROUTS.

What type of shoes will my child need?

We ask that all students wear tennis shoes daily.