Swallowtail Forest School

Outdoor learning for children ages 3-5


Friedrich Frobel, a German educator, opened the world's first kindergartens ("children's gardens") more than 150 years ago. He believed that young children should spend their time playing in nature, with less emphasis on learning letters and numbers. Today, across Europe, thousands of these outdoor "forest kindergartens" have been established. Children spend their entire class time exploring and learning outdoors year-round.

In 2019, Louisville Nature Center expanded our summer camps to children aged 4 and 5, and we have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that outdoor learning has on our youngest repeat campers. They demonstrate improved teamwork, creativity, and communication skills, as well as other social and emotional benefits. Seeing this inspired us to create more nature-based programming for young learners—and so Swallowtail Forest School was born.

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At Swallowtail Forest School, children have the opportunity to explore nature at their own pace. Our half-day programs are entirely play-based and student-led, guided by caring teachers who encourage curiosity in the outdoors. We take pride in providing an environment that is safe, welcoming, and fun, where children are free to play, learn, and grow.

Now, more than ever, nature is the safest place for our children to learn. Forest School gives young children the opportunity to connect to the seasons, develop resiliency, and so much more. Read on to find out how your child can become a Swallowtail student.

Learn more about our philosophies and practices in the parent handbook. 

How do I enroll?


Fill out an application and schedule a tour to be added to our waitlist. Spots fill up quickly!

  1. Complete the application and review the parent handbook.

  2. The Forest School director will reach out to you to schedule a tour for you and your student. 

  3. After your tour, if both parties decide that Swallowtail Forest School is a good fit, you will be contacted when a space becomes available. There is a $150 annual enrollment fee (nonrefundable) to secure your child’s space in Forest School.

Tuition Options

Forest School mornings run from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Tuesday/Thursday: $245/month (ENROLLMENT FULL)

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: $345/month (ENROLLMENT FULL)

Monday-Friday: $505/month (ENROLLMENT FULL)

Forest School afternoons run from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

Tuesday/Thursday: $220/ month (ENROLLMENT FULL)

Louisville Nature Center believes that nature is for everyone. We are committed to welcoming all students and families, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Swallowtail STAFF

Olivia KaiserLNC Education Programs Manager,SFS Director

Olivia Kaiser (She/Her)

LNC Education Programs Manager,

SFS Director

Savanna LottoSFS Teacher

Savanna Latto (She/Her)

SFS Teacher

Mac Lachmann (He/Him)

SFS Teacher

Ingrid Walters (She/Her)

SFS Teacher