Learning

Day Camps & Extracurricular Programs

NEW Ball's Falls Nature School

Is your child a lover of nature or an avid explorer of the great outdoors? Ball’s Falls Nature School welcomes their curiosity as we bring education out into the wilderness!

Our Ball's Falls Nature School provides an opportunity for students to connect with nature, developing a sense of place and self, while building confidence and engaging in outdoor experiences daily. The full day program provides students with specialized small-group curriculum-based lessons in math, reading, writing, science, social science and art – all in an outdoor setting led by OCT-certified educators.

Students will continue to build their literacy, numeracy, inquiry and social skills, where learning is based on environmental, sustainable, and conservation principles. Our afternoons are spent exploring the trails, scenes and forests of Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, and engaging in child-led, inquiry-based learning within the new Ball’s Falls Forest Playscape – a safe place for students to play, learn, socialize and be creative within the Carolinian Forest.

Students will spend their days in the fresh-air of the Niagara Escarpment, and will get to see the changes and discoveries that come with the seasons in Niagara. With so much time in the great outdoors learning, playing and engaging with nature – this program brings out the best in students and allows for development and opportunities to learn in all new ways. Some students call our program ‘Recess everyday!” because some of the best times we spend learning, are spent outdoors. At Ball’s Falls, our Nature School program is founded on the idea that the natural environment is one of the best places to learn and grow. Download our poster here!

2020-2021 Nature School Details:

  • Who: Students from SK-Grade 2
  • When: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., extended care available 8-9 a.m. & 3-4 p.m.
  • Where: The Arboretum at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area

Fees:
$200 non-refundable deposit required at time of registration. A special 15% discount will be provided to new registrants for the Introduction to Winter Session. 

Winter Session: $200 non-refundable deposit required at time of registration. $1,000/student/month. 10% discount given to the second child when registering two or more children.

For more information:
natureschool@npca.ca or 905-788-3135 ext. 326




FULL DAY Nature School Program Sessions

Introduction to Winter Session- Nov 30 to Dec 18

Students will explore the seasonal changes we see here in Niagara. They will discover the preparations that many animals in our forest are making to get ready for hibernation. Our budding forest explorers will also get ready for the change in weather and will learn how to dress for the oncoming chilly winter temperatures. This will help them greatly to stay warm and enjoy their afternoons of free play in our beautiful forest playscape!

Winter Session- Jan 4 to Apr 2

Our Nature School students will discover the wonders of the season. Through our forest play and exploration, we will also discover which animals have decided to stick around in the winter through looking at the clues they leave behind. Whether they are learning about snow science, making winter crafts or participating in winter activities like snowshoeing, every day will be a new adventure!

Spring Session- Apr 5 to June 25

Our students will see the forest as it awakens from a long winter’s nap. As our habitats thaw, we will discover who will make the first appearances and begin a new set of life cycles. Our students will also discover the needs of plants and watch as they grow throughout the season, and even see if they have a green thumb of their own!


NEW Ball's Falls Nature School- HALF DAY PROGRAMMING

Is your child a lover of nature or an avid explorer of the great outdoors? Ball’s Falls HALF- DAY Nature School welcomes their curiosity as we bring education out into the wilderness!

This half-day, alternative outdoor education program is filled with Ontario curriculum-based activities, designed to meet the learning abilities and individual needs of students. Led by OCT certified teachers, Nature School students will have countless of opportunities to explore nature and discover the environment that surrounds them with guided nature hikes, inclusive outdoor and indoor games, science experiments, craft, and more.

Let your kids spend their days in nature!

2020-2021 Half Day Nature School Details:

  • Who: Students ages 5 to 11
  • When: Monday-Friday, 12 to 3 p.m. beginning Monday, November 30
  • Where: The Centre for Conservation, Ball’s Falls Conservation Area

See options and fee information below.

For more information:
natureschool@npca.ca or 905-788-3135 ext. 326

Half Day Program Options & Registration Info

5 days/week (3-month commitment)

An afternoon of child-led and inquiry-based exploration and play through our many trails and our brand-new Forest Playscape. Students will be able to interact with nature and spend time learning and exploring in a COVID-friendly outdoor environment.

Cost: $100 non-refundable deposit required at time of registration. A special 15% discount will be applied to the first month as a special introductory rate.

$500/student/month for rest of months after introduction. 10% discount given to the second child when registering two or more children.

REGISTER NOW

1 day/week – 6 week commitment (3 week commitment first session)

Students will consistently come 1 day per week (day stays the same) for an afternoon of child-led and inquiry-based exploration and play through our many trails and our brand-new Forest Playscape. Students will be able to interact with nature and spend time learning and exploring in a COVID-friendly outdoor environment.

Cost: $75 for fall session (3 week commitment), $150 for winter session beginning January 4th (6 week commitment). 10% discount given to the second child when registering two or more children.

REGISTER NOW.

Single Day Nature School Drop In

Students can drop in for an afternoon of child-led and inquiry-based exploration and play through our many trails and our brand-new Forest Playscape. Students will be able to interact with nature and spend time learning and exploring in a COVID-friendly outdoor environment.

Cost: $25/day/student

REGISTER NOW. 

Other Program & Activities

OUR FOREST PLAYSCAPE

The Ball's Falls Forest Playscape is a free-play forest area for children, youth, students, adults and families. It encourages free-form play, creativity, problem-solving, team-based thinking and physical activity, all while immersed in a forest area.

The playscape includes a cedar split rail fence and feature system, loose-parts for creative play, and natural materials for shelter and fort-building activities. 

HOURS OF OPERATIONS

SAFE PLAYSCAPE INSTRUCTIONS

OUTDOOR EDUCATION DURING COVID-19

For many parents, finding these learning opportunities can be difficult, and we at the NPCA would like to offer our assistance during this time. NPCA Program Assistant, Jenna Moorhead, is an OCT certified teacher with a background in geography, environmental science and outdoor education - but she also has experience teaching almost every subject, to all ages and grade levels. 

CLICK HERE to find some resources for at-home learning that will allow your families to find the joy of outdoor education in your own backyards.

2020 JUNIOR BEEKEEPERS

The Junior Beekeepers Program is geared towards children/youth interested in learning about beekeeping. Run solely by volunteers, the Niagara Region Beekeepers Program began in 2019. 

The program's purpose is to introduce youth to the world of honeybees and the role of the beekeeper, communicate the importance of honeybees and other pollinators and encourage a new generation of beekeepers.

REGISTER FOR THIS PROGRAM NOW! 

Junior Beekeepers Program Details

Program Information:

  • Ages: 10- 14 years
  • A mix of hands-on, classroom and workshop style
  • Registration and intro session: February 29
  • Program runs Saturdays from 10am-2pm
  • Cost: $140/child (includes snack at each session, all equipment and tools)

Where:
The Arboretum
Ball’s Falls Conservation Area
3159 Sixth Avenue, Lincoln, ON L0R 1S0

Dates: 

  • March 28
  • April 25
  • May 30
  • June 27
  • July 25
  • Aug 29
  • Sept 26
  • Oct 31
  • Nov 28

REGISTER NOW!