Ithaca forest preschool is a program of primitive pursuits

Our Preschool-age Programs 

If you believe that children belong outside, and that the tools of imagination are what build a happy childhood, then welcome to our wooded world. Spontaneous play, exploration, cooperative problem solving, and moments of wonder and delight are what we witness each day in our all-outdoor year-round nature immersion programs for our youngest participants.

Ithaca Forest Preschool

Children nurture the seeds of nature connection every day in our all-outdoor, school-year program at 4-H Acres in Ithaca.

Growing Wild Summer Camp

Our half-day summer camp within the Primitive Pursuits program is a wonderful introduction to outdoor summer exploration. 

School Breaks and Play Days

When school is out, we are in the woods. These one to five day programs are are a great way to get a taste of our program.

What Parents are Saying...

“Ithaca Forest Preschool prepared our sons to really appreciate nature, to pay attention to details we may not notice nor know anything about, and to love winter; to this day, they sprint outside to play in the cold!”

R.A., Ithaca Forest Preschool parent

What Parents are Saying...

“Ithaca Forest Preschool is a place where your children will learn lots of things you may not know yourself, which they love to come home and share with you.” 

L.C., Ithaca Forest Preschool parent

What Parents are Saying...

“My daughter is now in 4th grade, and my sons are in 2nd Grade and Kindergarten. I can honestly say that I feel they entered Kindergarten completely prepared and that they had something extra to bring to the classroom, an experience beyond what one would expect of a preschooler because they also brought with them unique life skills and stories from their time in the forest.”

G. K., Ithaca Forest Preschool parent

Ithaca forest Preschool

The Latest News from Our Blog


July 16th 10AM-Noon

Parents and Children are Invited to Join Ithaca Preschool co-founder, Melissa Blake for a Tour of Our Very Special All-Outdoor Preschool Program. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and observe our summer camp program, which is very similar to our school year...

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@ 4-H Acres

We will have 8 Weeks of half-day Growing Wild Summer Camp at 4-H Acres for ages 3-5. Each day the kids get to romp in the woods and find natural materials, such as clay, rock-paint, bark, and leaves to create works of woodland art.

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COVID-19 Procedures and Protocols

COVID-19 Procedures and Protocols

Following are some of the procedures and protocols we will be following as we begin the school year. You can download a PDF copy of this information on our resources page. Ithaca Forest Preschool COVID-19 Policies and Protocol Physical Distancing By sending your child...

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Why Winter

Why Winter

We spent a cold, windy day out there today, with an inch of fresh powder coating the trees and covering up yesterday’s mud and slush. Aside from a few requests to “help me put my mittens back on—my hands are cold”, there were no complaints about the cold.

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Office Location:
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2292 | email Us

Preschool Location: 
4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Ithaca Forest Preschool is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and is run by Primitive Pursuits, a 4-H Program.