LOCATION: Lyman Woods Interpretive Center, 901 31st Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515

Nurture your little sprout in our nature-based early childhood program! Our classes are inspired by the forest school model of learning. Research has shown that unstructured outdoor play and nature-based exploration to be the perfect groundwork for meaningful learning and growth. Lyman Woods' NaturePlay School provides this and more! Your child will learn about the animals and ecology of the forests, wetlands and prairie through hands-on lessons designed specifically for early childhood. They will work on content such as science, language and math skills without even knowing it! Your child might plant trees, build forts, care for a garden, cook over a campfire, hike and explore our trails! We spend much of our time fostering creativity, teamwork and social skills through unstructured play on our trails and in our Wild Woods play areas. Class time takes place 100% outdoors, in our 135 acres, with the exception of severe weather and restroom breaks.

We offer classes for both 3-year-olds and 4-5-year-olds, in morning or afternoon options. Morning classes run from 9-11am. Afternoon classes run from 12:15-2:15pm.

The 2022-2023 School Year options are as follows:

3-year-old class options/annual tuition:

- Tuesday/Thursday 9:00- 11:00am/$1,040 (Activity #: 4505H03-01)

- Tuesday/Thursday 12:15 - 2:15pm/$1,040 (Activity #: 4505H03-02)

- Wednesday/Friday 9:00-11:00am/$975 (Activity #: 4505H03-03)

- Wednesday/Friday 12:15 - 2:15pm/$975 (Activity #: 4505H03-04)

- Monday Add on: 9:00 - 11:00am/$465 (Activity #: 4505H03-05)

(the Monday add on class is for students enrolled in a Tu/Th or W/F class in order to create a 3 day experience)

4-5-year-old class options/annual tuition:

- Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-11:00am/$1,040 (Activity #: 4505H04-01)

- Tuesday/Thursday 12:15-2:15pm/$1,040 (Activity#: 4505H04-02)

- Wednesday/Friday 9:00-11:00am/$975 (Activity #: 4505H04-03)

- Wednesday/Friday 12:15-2:15pm/$975 (Activity #: 4505H04-04)

- Monday Add on: 9:00 - 11:00am/$465 (Activity #: 4505H04-05)

- Monday Add on: 12:15-2:15pm/$465 (Activity #: 4505H04-06)

(the Monday add on class is for students enrolled in a Tu/Th or W/F class in order to create a 3 day experience)

2022-2023 School year registration information

Students wanting to sign up for our 2022-2023 school year NaturePlay School program must be 3 by September 1, 2022 for 3-year-old classes, and 4 or 5 by September 1, 2022 for the 4-5-year-old classes. NaturePlay School will run from September 6/7, 2022 - May 18/19, 2023.

Priority Registration for currently enrolled students and their siblings: Begins Monday, January 31, 2022 at 9:00am

Open Registration for new students: Begins Monday, February 14, 2022 at 9:00am

Registration can be done online with an $85 non-refundable enrollment fee or registration can be done in person at the Recreation Center or Lincoln Center Mondays - Fridays from 9:00am - 4:00pm. All registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Tuition Information: During the registration process, you will select the option to pay your annual tuition in-full or to be placed on an installment plan. If selecting the installment option, the annual tuition will be divided into 8 equal payments that are automatically billed on the 15th of each month from September 2022 - April 2023. Please note that the $85 non-refundable enrollment fee is not included in the annual tuition.


Registered families will receive information regarding teacher assignments, parent orientation, tuition payments, etc. in August 2022. For any questions regarding NaturePlay School, please us at or 630.963.9388.