In the age of standardized testing, screen time and what some see as a generation of excessively coddled children, a new movement of preschools is pushing kids outdoors, come rain or shine, heat or cold, to connect with nature and learn to take measured risks, in addition to math and the ABCs.


The Lake Nixon Outdoor Center is a 200+ acre natural sanctuary 15 minutes from midtown Little Rock. We are blessed to have a beautiful space where children can learn, play, and grow, surrounded by woods, creeks, ponds, trails and wildlife.

Visit our FAQ page for more info!

First Day of Outdoor Preschool is Monday,September 3rd, 2018.



Meet the teachers, visit the indoor and outdoor classrooms and find out what Outdoor Preschool is all about! Due to great community interest and support, meetings are scheduled into small group tours.

Please call (501-228-0202) or email Monica Woods as soon as possible to arrange a tour.

The Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool is an all-weather learning community for children, ages 3-5. Our program closely follows a Forest Kindergarten model of full nature-immersion with emphasis on natural rhythms, seasonal changes and the natural sciences. Outdoor Preschoolers learn about the plants, animals and systems in their own surroundings while developing a strong, place-based connection to the natural world. Participating in nature art and open-ended, outdoor play fosters creativity and complete focus as well as expose children to a wide variety of possible interests, to be revisited, perhaps, in the future.

We encourage and build on each child’s innate sense of wonder by guiding preschoolers with an inquiry-based teaching style, rather than a boxed curriculum. This builds self-trust as well as both critical thinking and problem solving skills. By building confidence through knowledge of and experience in the outdoors, students’ social and emotional growth naturally strengthen. By learning to take acceptable risks in the outdoors, preschoolers’ pride, self-worth and perseverance also grow.


It is no secret that children need to be outside, that it is a right, not a privilege, and that they thrive when able to do so. It has also been shown that children who are able to play for long periods of time outdoors are happy and confident, as well as better prepared for future academic work.

Families who choose the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool will be supported in building positive attitudes toward all weather possibilities, since, in a child’s mind, there is no “bad” weather, only endless opportunities to learn and play through new and varied experiences. Our teachers help families choose the appropriate clothing for children so they will always be comfortable out-of-doors. We also help families embrace the dirt and mess that comes with the fierce curiosity of a child being blessed with daily nature immersion.

It is crucial for us to intentionally create places of learning where children are encouraged in their love of the natural world, and inspired to gain more knowledge of it. As Baba Dioum reminds us, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”

Want to learn more about the Lake Nixon Outdoor Preschool?

Please complete the form below or email Monica Woods, Program Developer/Lead Educator, for more information about this unique program.

Adult's Name *
Adult's Name
Phone Number* *
Phone Number*
Please tell us more about your family's interest in Outdoor Preschool: