Delivering curriculum through learner-led exploration of the natural world

Calgary Nature Kindergarten

Calgary's first Nature Kindergarten - an Alberta Education-approved independent ECS that is publicly funded.  The Kindergarten follows the Alberta Education mandated Kindergarten curriculum in a child-led, naturalized outdoor environment. 


Registration for 2018-2019 School Year is Now Open!!


Registration packages for the 2018 school year can be downloaded HERE
Parents wanting to register for the 2018 school year are strongly encouraged to attend the parent info night. We are now accepting completed registration packages along with $50 registration fees. Completed registrations can be mailed in or dropped off at the indoor classroom (Please read registration package for detailed information.) Priority registration deadline is Feb. 9th.  

Questions? Contact our Registrar  


Calgary Nature Kindergarten:

  • a full day program from 9 am - 3 pm, 2 days per week plus *alternating Fridays;  2017-2018 Calendar

  • has children spending the majority of each day learning and playing in a natural, outdoor environment 
  • has a class size of 19 children (max.) with an outdoor classroom (Lloyd Park) ratio of 1:9

  • publicly funded with a $50 application fee and $350 total program fee; plus $25-$35 per calendar year for community association/park membership fees (depending on location).

  • Our indoor classroom is located on the lower level of the Tanbridge Academy building at 22x and 112 St W (5 minutes west of Spruce Meadows) and outdoor classroom located in Lloyd Park near the Red Deer Lake Community Centre.

What age is my child eligible for Kindergarten in Alberta?



2017-2018 School documents for download:

2017-2018 Parent Handbook is available here

2017-2018 School Calendar is available here.

Clothing list for 2017-2018 school year available here. 


The CCES Board of Directors is expanding. More details here

Calgary Nature Kindergarten is operated by the Children's Commons Ecological Society (CCES). CCES is a not-for-profit society started by the educators, founders and parents of Common Digs Forest School.

CCES Mission:

To create learning environments that foster the connection between children and the natural world by providing repeated and regular access to a nature space, hands on collaborative learning, playful inquiry, and reflection and use of materials as a means for all learners to extend their understanding of themselves and their relationship to the world around them. 

CCES and Common Digs are separately operated organizations that have common goals, work collaboratively and share resources.

Our RDL Location:

Tanbridge Building & Lloyd Park


What is Nature Kindergarten?
The concept of educating children through the natural world and real life experiences is not new. It first came into academic thinking in the early 1800's. In the past 50 years it has taken a resurgence in Europe and very recently in the US and Canada. Several Nature Kindergartens exist now in Canada including Sooke Nature Kindergarten (BC), Maple Ridge Eco School (BC), Barrie Nature Kindergarten (ON) and Tawinga College (ON) among others.


  • repeated opportunity to return to the same outdoor, natural space for great lengths of time
  • playful inquiry
  • emergent curriculum
  • supported strong and mighty play
  • collaboration
  • use of natural materials
  • dialogue
  • reflection 
See what the media has to say about us!    
Our new interview on CBC's Now or Never

Education and environment: Calgary's nature kindergarten gets kids playing and learning outside

Listen to the full radio interview here

To keep up to date with our latest news and thoughts follow us on Twitter and Facebook:

Some helpful resources:

This video is about the Nature Kindergarten at Sangster Elementary School in the Sooke School District (just West of Victoria) in British Columbia, Canada.