Nature-Respite

If your family is looking for resources to help support play at home and in your community, we highly recommend the document Play in Crisis from the International Play Association. If you have a specific question, please feel free to write to our team. We love to talk about play and look forward to doing it again in person whenever possible.

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Our Nature-Respite program is an essential service specifically for homeschooled children ages 5-10, offering a means to socialize and play together outdoors during the Coronavirus pandemic. While each day differs depending upon the children’s interests and the weather, activities might involve climbing trees, finding caterpillars, playing in mud, using hand tools, building forts, the list goes on and on. Whatever we get up to, we are sure to explore, learn and play together!

Being based at the same site for the entire session, children have the opportunity to foster a connection with the natural world, observing the changes that take place throughout the season. While our activities take place entirely outdoors, we do have access to indoor washrooms and facilities if needed to meet our basic needs. In the event of extreme weather that prevents us from playing outside, the activity will be cancelled and fees for the day will be reimbursed.

As the goal of the program is to provide a space for socialization essential to children’s development, children will not be required to follow social distancing guidelines inside their stable social bubble of 4-6 children. To comply with the requirements of the Direction régionale de santé publique necessary for a child to participate in a social bubble at The Lion and The Mouse, families will be required to confirm upon registration that their child is not being homeschooled due to medical conditions that put them at risk of complications if they were to contract the Novel Coronavirus and that their child does not participate in another social bubble outside the home similar to those of a daycare or school.

The total number of children participating in the program across all groups must be limited to 15 at a time to respect public health guidelines. To allow for the participation of as many families as possible, the groups will function in stable cohorts for a period of six weeks followed by a two week break. Registrations for the first cohort will happen on a first come first served basis, with priority given to families who have previously participated in our suspended Homeschool Adventure Club. If the program is full and you would like to be included in the future, please add your child to the waitlist. While it is possible for a child to participate in more than one cohort, registrations for subsequent cohorts will be managed by our team to ensure that as many children as possible can play outside in the coming months.

The Nature-Respite program is not currently funded through an external partner and as such the fees reflect the true cost of participation. We do, however, have a bursary fund that is available to families for whom the cost is prohibitive. If you would like to find out more, be it to make a bursary request or contribution, please contact us. Regardless of your family’s financial situation, fees are due at the beginning of each cohort and not upon registration.

Nature-Respite Program – Winter-Spring 2021

Ages: 5 – 10 years*        **Children who were not yet 5 years old and who have previously attended a group setting outside of the home may be eligible. Parents of these children should communicate directly with our team before registering to better understand the Nature-Respite context and evaluate whether or not their child is ready to participate.**

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

Days of the week: Wednesdays and Fridays

Dates:

  • Cohort 1 – January 20th to February 26, 2021
  • Cohort 2 – March 17th to April 23, 2021
  • Cohort 3 – May 12 to June 4, 2021

Cost: $150 to participate one day a week in a six week session, $300 to participate two days a week

Language: French and english (bilingual environment)

*Please note that school-age children (6 years old and up as of July 1, 2020) must be registered homeschoolers with the Direction de l’Enseignement à la maison at the Ministry of Education.

Pre-registration is open to families who have previously participated in our Homeschool Adventure Clubs with an access code as of Monday, December 14th at 12:00 noon. General registration will open Wednesday, December 16th at 12:00 noon (no code required).

Photo: Gabrielle Doiron

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