Tiny Trekkers

All spring sessions of 2024 are full. To add your child to a waitlist for a session, please call (618) 466-9930. Check back in the spring for registration for the 2024/2025 school year.

Tiny Trekkers is a weekly drop off program for ages 3 – 5. Preschoolers will explore our nearly 500 acres of preserve through hands-on experiences out in nature. This program runs from 9 – 11 a.m. on Tuesday mornings.

Tiny Trekkers is a great complement to part time preschool programs, as preparation for entering preschool or kindergarten, or even as an addition to a PreK/K homeschool program. Registration is offered by the month only and spots are limited. Children must be able to use the restrooms independently. Tiny Trekkers meet 4x a month, except for December and May.

Check out our upcoming themes below:

  • Creature Features: March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th (FULL)
  • Curious Collectors: April 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th (no session on the 2nd) (FULL)
  • Stream Stomp: May 7th, 14th, 21st (no session on the 28th) (FULL)

Program Fees: $50/month for TNI members, $60/month for non-members. May is prorated at $45 for non-members and $37.50 for members. A morning snack is also included in the program fee.

  • Our primary Tiny Trekkers staff include our Director of Education, Lauren Scull, and our Environmental Educator, Dave Schiber. Both hold years of experience in education and operate our education department throughout the year. All staff and volunteers are background checked.
  • Our small group size ensures a close knit community between preschool-aged children. This unique program will give your child an opportunity to get out in nature weekly and form an attachment to the natural world!
  • This program also allows preschoolers to gain independence as they get ready for full-time preschool and kindergarten programs.

Each session will begin with group time to check in about the weather, our topic for the day, and a general rundown of what we’ll be doing for the morning. Activities will coordinate with the month’s theme and may include art, games, activities, hikes, experiments, and nature exploration. We will stomp through waterfalls, build dams on creeks to test cause and effect, search for evidence of animals, and learn about nature! We will end our session with free play at our Nature Explore certified classroom. You can view our general schedule above.

In warmer weather months, the entire session is spent outdoors. In cold weather, a minimum of 50% of the time is spent outdoors as weather allows and the other portion is spent in our indoor classroom. We go out rain, snow, or shine, and ask that all kids come prepared for the elements!

Check out our Flickr albums from past sessions to get an idea of what we do at Tiny Trekkers!

Tiny Trekkers is a drop off program. If you’d like to attend a program with your child, we’d love to have you at Knee-High Naturalists, our parent/child nature class. You can find more information here. 

Tiny Trekkers runs throughout the school year, September through May. We do not offer a summer session in June through August – we run our summer camp full time during this season. You do not have to register for the full season – registration is by the month.

Your child must be between the ages of 3 – 5. All children must be potty trained.

Special Notes about the Winter Sessions (Jan/Feb):

  • Roughly half of our session will still take place outside, weather permitting. You will need to send adequate outdoor gear to keep your child safe and warm in the elements! This may include mittens, hats, snow pants, coats, scarves, etc.
  • The other portion of our class will be spent in our indoor classroom. If wind chill is deemed too cold for an hour to be spent outside, outdoor time will be limited for safety.
  • The preserve is otherwise closed during the winter months, so this is a special opportunity for our preschoolers to engage with winter happenings!

Once all of our spots have been filled, you can call our Main Office at (618) 466-9930 to be added to the waitlist.

After registering for program fill out the medical form which can be found below. The form will take you roughly 20 minutes to complete and you will not be able to save and return to it. If you are unable to finish the form right now, you can return to this page to fill it out later. If you have multiple children signed up for a program you will have to fill out a separate form for each child.

Please be sure to complete the medical form at least one week before the program starts.

The information asked for in the medical form helps TNI educator to ensure the health and safety of your child and sets the program up for success. Thank you for cooperation.