Ithaca forest preschool

What Parents are Saying…

“We’ve seen so much growth from Lucas during his time at Forest Preschool, from physical abilities to emotional capacity to social engagement. He actually tells us all about his days this year, and the conversations he has with his friends, the games and activities played and the tea that was made.

He’s able to identify trees, leaves, and animal tracks, and can’t get enough of outside exploration. We went to the Banff Film Festival Friday night, and during one of the films, he told us the people on screen needed to be quiet in the forest so they could find some animals. We feel so incredibly lucky to have Ithaca Forest Preschool in our lives, and are forever grateful for the guidance you all have given Lucas during this stage of his life! We will miss you dearly next year, but will sign Lucas up for school break camps, and then it will be Emma’s turn.

Thanks for all you do!”

G. C., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

“Our son not only learned about the outdoors but has learned so much socially and developed so many self-regulation skills to prepare him for elementary school. His enthusiasm to go to school on even the coldest days has taught our whole family to embrace being out in winter! He pushes us all out to go out no matter the weather, and he excitedly teaches US about the plants and animal tracks he discovers.”   

V. L., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

“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. Having adventures outdoors gave our preschooler a strong connection to nature which stayed with him after he moved on to regular school, and also strengthened his belief that the world is an exciting place that deserves to be explored. The staff provide an incredible combination of nurturing and encouragement to become more independent day by day. We loved the forest preschool; it’s a wonderful way to help children blossom into brave, kind people who love the outdoors.”

L. C., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

“Both my kids have gone here now! Love that they are outdoors and learning about nature and playing!”

R. T., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

My daughter and two sons have attended Forest Preschool, and I loved the program, the incredible instructors, and that my children were spending their precious young years outdoors learning priceless skills. I admit, with each child though, I wondered how their the transition from forest to classroom would affect them. Would they be prepared for Kindergarten? Would their peers be ahead of them? Would they be able to handle the more structured environment? 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. I am so pleased to see that their confidence, appreciation, and respect for nature, and passion for the outdoors are still as strong as ever, and I attribute that to their time in Forest Preschool. They all miss it and jump at every opportunity to get back to the woods.”  

G. K., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

“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

“My daughter (4 years) attended in the fall and we absolutely LOVE IT! We love the outdoors and teaching children how to appreciate the earth and this school is perfect for that. They make wild tea, learn how to handle emotions and all that other good stuff. The teachers are phenomenal and I hope to enroll my son the next few years as well. Highly recommended!”

A. R., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

“Our son has loved every minute of his time with Ithaca Forest Preschool, and has become such a well rounded lover of nature. He can identify tree species, animal tracks, and never sees the weather as a limiting factor in outside time. We’re sad to be moving on to Kindergarten, but will be forever grateful for what IFP has done for our son. Our youngest will be back when she’s old enough!”

G. M., Ithaca Forest Preschool Parent

If you believe that children belong outside, and that the tools of imagination are what build a happy childhood and a strong foundation, then welcome  to our wooded world.

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.