Spring, Fall, and Winter Seasons
MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center includes 160 acres of farm, gardens, pasture, forest, and pond with endless opportunities for discovery and adventure. Our Farm Sprouts Preschool Program provides preschoolers, ages 3-5 years, with opportunities to explore farm and nature topics of interest as a part of seasonally-based investigations.
Farm Sprouts Statement of Purpose
Our Farm Sprouts Preschool Program at MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center connects young children to local food and the natural world through hands-on experiences in the outdoors, building a foundation for future learning and stewardship.
Farm Sprouts Philosophy
We believe in the importance of play, through which children grow emotionally, develop social and cognitive skills, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences.
We utilize an interdisciplinary, child-centered approach to education which incorporates science, mathematics, the arts, languages, and literacy in order to create meaningful and essential connections for learning.
We provide young children with opportunities to experiment, explore, and engage in science play and practices as they build an understanding of scientific inquiry processes.
We develop lifelong habits and preferences by involving young children in all aspects of the farm to table experience.
We strive to build a strong learning community in which families, cultural diversity, and collaboration are valued.
Definition of a Farm Sprout
A farmer cultivates the soil and nurtures crops so they grow to their potential. Like the farmer, we nurture the young children who visit our farm to help them develop and grow, as they gain new abilities, self-confidence, and independence through their experiences, the foundational soil they need to flourish. Preschoolers sink their roots, developing a sense of place and an appreciation for the land and its living creatures, from the worm to a sugar maple tree, the diversity of life inspires wonder and curiosity. Just as crops are harvested when they reach maturity to nourish those who consume them, Farm Sprouts too, carry their experiences at the farm into their lives, shaping a better future.
Fall 2018 Season
Tuesdays / 8 weeks / September 11th - November 6th (no class on October 2nd due to Pumpkinfest preparations)
Wednesdays / 8 weeks / September 12th - November 7th (no class on October 3rd due to Pumpkinfest preparations)
Morning Session: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. / $300 / 3-4 year olds (session full both days)
Afternoon Session: 12:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. / $360 / 4-5 year olds (a few spaces still available each day)
The program fee includes a t-shirt and a local and/or organically-grown snack, a collaboration with our Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Winter "Maple Sugaring" Season
Schedule: Runs for four weeks on Wednesdays in February-March. Stay tuned for 2019 dates!
Morning Session: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. / $150 / 3-4 year olds
Afternoon Session: 12:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. / $180 / 4-5 year olds
Schedule: Runs for eight weeks on Tuesdays or Wednesdays in April-June. Stay tuned for 2019 dates!
Morning Session: 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. / $300 / 3-4 year olds
Afternoon Session: 12:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. / $360 / 4-5 year olds
Larm, Brooke. "How do plants and animals prepare for winter?" National Science Teachers Association Science and Children. vol. 55, no. 2, October 2017. p.62-69.
Would you like to learn more? Visit our blog at www.experiencetollgate.com for a taste of our previous seasons of Farm Sprouts!