Deer Paths’ Philosophy

Basically, we like to combine environmental education with magic!!

We believe that nature themes make the most sense for children’s early learning. This is a time when children are closer to nature and receptive to it. We share interesting information in creative ways and also make space for observation and the magical realm!

It may be best explained with an example of a lesson: We teach the life cycle of the mosquito. The students see pictures and the real mosquito “babies” in our vernal pool. They are excited to find them! They learn about metamorphosis through direct observation in the natural environment.

They also learn about all the animals that depend on mosquitoes for food.

These concepts are also introduced in magical play, such as activities to “change ourselves into the mosquito stages” or in a story to help a mosquito learn how to grow and get her wings or to follow a magical path to the vernal pool with fairy clues.

Through this combination of learning and magical play, we believe that children’s inherent connection with magical mystery is nurtured alongside a developing knowledge of how things grow…and how we are all connected.

This mosquito lesson may not create a total love for mosquitoes but it does create respect for them… a springboard for stewardship and connection.

Deer Paths Mission Statement

Deer Paths is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to environmental education. The organizers of Deer Paths believe that people’s connection to nature is important for the healing of the earth as well as for our own growth and learning. We believe that children’s inherent curiosity about nature should be nourished and respected. We also believe that learning about the environment should be done with respect and with as little disturbance as possible. We believe that early environmental education will help to create a lifelong sense of respect and stewardship of the earth.

The mission of Deer Paths nature programs is to create a positive and direct connection to nature. The primary learning tools are our senses and teachers let children guide the way and make their own discoveries. Information about nature is provided as a springboard rather than a final resting place. In order to reach children with different learning styles, teachers offer many different modalities including creative movement, song, story, science experiments, observation and discussion.