Coyote Pups

Seasonal Nature Programs for Ages 3-7

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
— e.e. Cummings

Wee Ones (3-4 years):

Days:               9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Mondays, Fridays

Tuition:          Click here for tuition options*

Kinder-Age (5-7 years):

Days:               9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

Tuition:          Click here for tuition options*

Location:       SLO Botanical Garden. The magical children’s garden, surrounding hillsides, and El Chorro Park across the bridge make up our home.

*Plus $50 Enrollment Fee per child/per session ($100 annually)

If you would like to be added to a waitlist for one of the upcoming seasonal programs, please click below.

September 03, 2019 through June 05, 2020

On Mondays and Fridays,  the Wee Ones (3-4 years) come together for a day of games, stories, and nature-based learning designed for the young child. Imaginative play is the cornerstone of these days.  Everything is possible during imaginative play. This is how a young child explores and builds her strong, personal relationship with place and experiments with his role in a community. In this mixed-age group, older children learn and express a spirit of helpfulness and gain confidence as they pass on skills used during our days on the land.  Each day we:

  • begin with songs and sharing gratitude,

  • play games to develop and attune the senses,

  • adventure on the land to discover the unique offerings of each season,

  • tell and enact stories,

  • share a healthy lunch together,

  • engage in crafts and activities that develop fine-motor skills, and

  • end with our collective story of the day!


We gather together on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am-3 pm to deepen into place-based learning designed for the Kinder-Age child (5-7 years). These days are centered around nature immersion and activities that develop focus, initiative, and a sense of belonging within a caring learning community. With the kinder-age child, we trek further on the land to directly experience the changing seasons and movement of animals through the landscape. The seasons inspire a cycle of activities which help us all create meaningful connections with ourselves, one another, and the land. Some of our families have Kinder-Age children with younger siblings who want to share a Coyote Pups day together. Coyote Pups is open to mixed-age sibling groups on our Wednesday program. Our days follow the familiar rhythm and flow of nature to which we add:

  • foraging and tending the land,

  • practicing wilderness skills (whittling, shelter-building, tracking),

  • crafting with natural materials (plant-dying, basket-making),

  • unstructured free play and timeless wanders.

Join our pack of Coyote Pups and get Outside Now!


September 03, 2019 through January 17, 2020

Mentors:  Noa Kamplain, Leo Matthews, Marcela Ponce, Kara Quinn
Apprentice Mentors: Kira Guillermo, Petra Teixeira Teen Mentor: Sage Taub

If you put Fall on a compass with Winter in the North,  Autumn becomes the Southwest/West time of year: the time for celebrating and gathering the gifts of nature. Together we harvest edible and medicinal plants, observe the animal life as we tend our surroundings, and tell the stories that reveal themselves on our day’s encounters. Nature beckons Coyote Pups in Autumn to gather and craft, trek and map, observe and imagine, sing harvest songs, and share gratitude for the gifts of nature.


We speak of Winter as the Northwest/North time of year: the time for seeking shelter and reflecting upon the mysteries of life. Little ones deepen their relationship with fire, enjoy the coziness of gathering in a secure space we build ourselves, and sip teas we harvest on the land. Coyote Pups in Winter construct shelter, create warmth, “catch” songs, share stories from the ancestors, cook nourishing food, craft, and more. When the Winter rain arrives, we dress warmly and continue to engage our senses outdoors! 


January 27, 2020 through June 05, 2020

Mentors:  Noa Kamplain, Leo Matthews, Marcela Ponce, Kara Quinn
Apprentice Mentors: Kira Guillermo, Petra Teixeira Teen Mentor: Sage Taub

We speak of late Winter as the North/Northeast time of year: the time for warm fires and questions, dreams and drawing, plans for planting in the coming Spring. Little ones ponder “Why” and “How” stories while tucked in shelters of their own creation. Coyote Pups in late Winter embrace the rains when they come and find endless pleasure in the creative potential of mud! We drench ourselves in sensory goodness outdoors and then snuggle up and share stories, dances, and music of the day.


We associate Spring with the East: the direction of a sunrise. It’s a time for anticipating and observing birth. In the springtime, little ones are energized with natural curiosity for the changes they see in a landscape bursting with new beginnings: blooming wildflowers, baby birds, budding trees. The brilliant colors, soft winds, growing grasses, and baby creatures of Spring awaken all of our senses. Coyote Pups in Spring share story, song, treks, games, crafts, planting, mapping, movement, and more!