Farm Sprouts

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 inquiry investigations. 

Farm Sprouts Statement of Purpose

The Farm Sprouts program engages young children with 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, physical, and cognitive skills, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences.

We utilize an interdisciplinary, child-centered approach to education 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 and concepts.

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, diversity, and collaboration are valued.

Winter "Maple Sugaring" Season 2020

Wednesdays / 4 weeks / February 26th - March 18th

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 

This program is FULL. Thank you for your interest! 

If you would like to receive our Early Childhood Education newsletter to receive news of programs, events, and open registrations, such as for Farm Sprouts, please email the Early Childhood Coordinator to be added to the contact list.

Spring Season 2020

Tuesdays / 8 weeks / April 21st - June 10th

OR

Wednesdays / 8 weeks / April 22nd - June 11th

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

Registration opens on January 18th!

The program fee includes a t-shirt and a local and/or organically-grown snack, a collaboration with our Sustainable Agriculture Program. Financial aid is available. Visit our financial aid web page for more information and to apply.

Fall Season 2020

Tuesdays / 8 weeks / September 8th - November 3rd
(No Farm Sprouts on September 29th in preparation for Pumpkinfest)

OR

Wednesdays / 8 weeks / September 9th - November 4th
(No Farm Sprouts on September 30th in preparation for Pumpkinfest)

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 

Program Publications 

Larm, B. (2017). "How do plants and animals prepare for winter?" Local resources support an outdoor inquiry-based projectNational Science Teachers Association Science and Children, 55(2), 62-69.

Program Reports

How does the Farm Sprouts Preschool Program impact children? (Summer 2018)

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.

Would you like to learn more? Visit our blog at www.experiencetollgate.com for a taste of our previous seasons of Farm Sprouts!

 

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