Nature-Based Programs

Our Programs

In our nature-immersive program, children learn through hands-on experiences that address their developmental needs and nurture their innate curiosity about the world around them. Children are invited to explore, wonder, create, and develop their physical capabilities in Wheeler’s diverse outdoor environments. Our play-based approach encourages children, in partnership with teachers, to make independent discoveries about themselves and the natural world. What children discover outdoors will inspire circle time discussions along with math, language and literacy, science, and social studies lessons in our traditional preschool classroom.

Indoor/Outdoor Curriculum

Each day, supported by our child-centered curriculum, students will be exposed to all aspects of development.

  • Spend time learning foundational social and emotional skills through play, collaborative projects, and teacher guidance. 
  • Make new friends and explore what it means to be part of an inclusive and diverse community. 
  • Develop an understanding of mathematical concepts as they collect natural materials, sort, compare, categorize, and count. 
  • Be immersed in language and literacy through read-alouds, rhyming, word games, class discussions, and conversations with teachers and peers. 
  • Gain knowledge of print and its uses, learn to recognize letters of the alphabet, write their name, and use writing tools to express their thinking. 
  • Observe and interact with nature, giving them opportunities to develop science skills including an understanding of seasonal changes, cause, and effect, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

Art Program

The Art Program at the Nest offers a dynamic curriculum where young students thrive. Lessons are designed to spark the imaginations of young students and help them connect with the natural world around them. Each project builds manual dexterity skills as well as engages students to experience a variety of materials. Songs, stories and chants come into play, as scissors talk, printing tools hop, and brushes mix colors and make marks. In this lively and nurturing environment students learn to give visual expression to their ideas, build on skills in fun ways, and maintain a connection to their creative spirit.

Spanish Program

Spanish at the Nest is all about learning a language in a fun and engaging way with a multisensory approach to classroom instruction. Students enjoy kinesthetic learning, exploring storybooks, music videos, rhymes and songs, and play traditional hand games. Child-centered lessons and activities highlight Hispanic culture, traditions, and special holidays.


At Wheeler, we understand parents need affordable quality care and are looking for an exceptional educational experience. The Nest program was designed to meet both these needs!

  • Flexible Enrollment Options
    Parents may choose full days (7:30am to 5:30 pm and/or half days (7:30am to 12:30pm).  Nursery families have a range of flexible enrollment options, including three-day, four-day, and five-day options.
  • Early Drop-off & Afternoon Care
    The Nest is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm. Families can opt for aftercare following 3:00pm dismissal.
  • After School Enrichment Programs
    After School Enrichment classes will be available to all students, for a fee, at the Nest who are enrolled in the full day program. Children will have the opportunity to join organized, curriculum-based elective classes that will dive deep into a variety of age-appropriate subject matters, interests, skills, and passions taught by members of the Wheeler community and outside partners and vendors.
  • Year-Round Care
    The Nest provides vacation care at an additional cost during school break and eight weeks of summer programming to support families and child care needs.
  • Flexible Afternoon Care
    For students enrolled in the half day program, we offer afternoon care as needed for a fee of $50 per day.