- Fall leaves from your yard (w/o dog poop please!)
- Pumpkins (any size or color)
- Drying cabinet (example) and/or boot drying racks (example)
- Acorns and pinecones
- Warm hats, neck warmers, and waterproof mittens
- Trees and native flowers to plant in the playscape
- Dress up clothes
- Art supplies
- Baby dolls and doll props
- 4T-6T inside clothes (pants, shorts, undies, etc)
Volunteer Task Wish List
- Make tree cookies of various sizes
- Build a giant Jenga set
- Build a corn hole set
- Build a pallet work bench/work shop area in playscape
If your family needs help paying for child care, rent, or food please visit ParentAware.org to find resources.
There is lots of great outdoor gear out there for children! Some of our favorite brands are:
- Polarn O. Pyret rain gear and snow gear (ask about the 20% discount for HNP families) www.polarnopyretusa.com/
- Didriksons rain gear and snow gear https://www.didriksons.com/en-xx/
- Patagonia snow gear www.patagonia.com/
- Helly Hansen snow gear shop.hellyhansen.com/en_us/
- Columbia snow gear https://www.columbia.com/home
- Land’s End snow gear https://www.landsend.com/
- Oakiwear rain suits (ask about the 10% discount for HNP families) www.oakiwear.com
Nature Play in Duluth
Here are some resources for ideas of what to do with your family outdoors in Duluth:
- Ideas for Getting Kids Outside to Explore the Outdoors Duluth News Tribune article with ideas for families
- Outside in Duluth blog Duluthian Kristina Bourne’s blog on her family’s adventures with lots of ideas for getting out on adventures with your own little ones
- Nurturing Nature Play: Ten Tips for Parents from Green Hearts, Inc.
- A Parent’s Guide to Nature Play
More About Nature Play
Nature Play Research
- Why is Nature Play Important? from Green Hearts, Inc.
- The International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education by the NAAEE (North American Association for Environmental Education)
- Natural Start: The NAAEE’s early childhood education branch
Nature-Based Care Options in Duluth
Hartley Nature Preschool is a part of the Duluth Nature Play Collaborative which is lead by a group of educators who incorporate nature play into every day. If HNP doesn’t fit your family’s needs check out these other programs in the collaborative including: Wind Ridge Schoolhouse, Kinderfarm, Secret Forest Playschool, and Little Barnyard Preschool.
We love volunteers! Volunteers are welcome in our classroom and we occasionally need volunteers for special projects, such as sewing projects. Parents of currently enrolled preschoolers can contact their teachers for information on volunteering in the classroom. If you are a community member, college student, or other person interested in volunteering, please submit a Hartley Nature Center volunteer application and indicate your interest in working with our preschool program. Find a volunteer application here.
Is working with preschoolers outdoors in all seasons your dream job?! Hartley Nature Preschool is currently hiring substitute teachers. If you are interested in being on the sub list, please submit a cover letter and resume to Kaitlin, the preschool director, at email@example.com.
Hartley Nature Center is often hiring Environmental Education Interns. Learn more here.