Programs for Children

Programs for Children

Knee-High Naturimg_0931alists

Monthly Program - Thursday and/or Friday Ages:  2-4  |  10am - 11:30am

Fee:  $12 | Members: $9

This program is designed especially for smaller children (ages 2­ to 4) who love exploring nature. There are monthly sessions throughout the year, and each one offers its own seasonal theme.

In April we will explore "April Showers" and the spring weather that gives plants and animals the queue to come out of their winter slumber.

In May we will explore all of the beautiful flowers that come up in May on the preserve.


Upcoming Knee-High Naturalist Programs (click links to register):

April Showers - 10am - 11:30am - Thursday, April 20

April Showers - 10am - 11:30 - Friday, April 21st

May Flowers - 10am - 11:30am - Thursday, May 18th

May Flowers - 10am - 11:30 - Friday, May 19th

Each Knee High Naturalist session offers: A nature-­related craft and activities followed by an outdoor trail hike.  During a trail hike guided by our naturalist instructors, knee-high naturalists will explore nature by looking under logs, searching for animal tracks, exploring our pond and learning all about the animals that frequently visit our 100 acre preserve.  Some things children may see along the trails include deer, owls, squirrels, birds and insects.

Each hike will be followed by a nature story and a snack. This program is one of our most popular programs for little nature lovers.


Two-Day Mini Camp 

April 5th & 6th (W-Th) @ 9am - 4pm  | Ages: 6-8 & 9-11  |

 TNS Members: $75 | Non-Members: $85 

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Children spending Spring Break at the nature center will explore the forests and meadows on the nature preserve. They will be on the lookout for animals, signs of animal activity and identify new plant growth. Each day will include fun interactive games, activities and crafts. Children will use observation tools as they discover what’s happening outdoors. Camp is held rain or shine.

Each child brings a sack lunch daily. Beverages and an afternoon snack will be provided.

Children Must Be Registered by April 1st!!

Ages 6 - 8 Register Here

Ages 9 - 11 Register Here

Junior Naturalist Club

boys checking out nets

Pond Dipping at the Stage Nature Center

Junior Naturalists meet the second Saturday of each month from September to July | Ages: 4 to 5th grade | Annual Fee: $165 | Members: $150 (pro-rated monthly)

This award-­winning program is one of the longest running programs at the Stage Nature Center, and is one that is dedicated to teaching children ages 4 through 5th grade all about nature by participating in “hands-on” indoor and outdoor activities.

What Junior Naturalist Parents say about the program:

Family from Troy, MI:  "The interaction with the children is excellent, and our daughter's interest in nature has been sustained over several years of Junior Naturalists. Can't say enough about Debbie & the team."

Family from Rochester, MI: "The Junior Naturalist program provides unique exposure to nature not available elsewhere. Lessons are a great mix of classroom and outdoors and the children really do learn a sensitivity and appreciation for the natural environment."

Each session offers: A unique theme that explores subjects such as the production of maple syrup, animal life cycles, pond life, and so much more. Children are invited to join the club at any time throughout the year.

The annual fee starts at $165 and is pro-rated every month after the September start. The fee includes:

  • All “hands-­on” activities & crafts
  • Patches & naturalist kits
  • Week-long July summer camp
  • Family BBQ in July to celebrate the end of the “Junior Nat’s” season

Junior Naturalist Club 2016-17 Subjects (click links to register)

Discoverers:  4 year olds  |  Adventurers: K & 1st grade  |  Explorers: 2nd & 3rd grade  | Seekers: 4th and 5th grade


April 8th: Spring Comes to the Forest

Discoverers: Looking for Signs of Spring

Adventurers: Early Spring Wildflowers

Explorers: The Squirrels’ Tale

Seekers: Animals on the Move - Migration

May: Animal Life

Discoverers: Baby Animals

Adventurers: How Things Grow – Animal Life Cycles

Explorers: Life Cycles of Frogs & Toads

Seekers: Bird Populations

June: Water Wonderland

Discoverers: Who Lives in the Water?

Adventurers: Habitats of the Pond & Stream

Explorers: Plants That Keep Their Toes Wet

Seekers: Where Does the Water Go?

July SUMMER CAMP: Vertebrate Week

Explore the characteristics of each of the five groups of animals with backbones. Learn more about the adaptations for survival unique to birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish.