Skip to main content

 Forest Fridays Philosophy, Sample Schedule and Biographies 

 Kickapoo Valley Reserve nature program based on free play
 and wonder-filled exploration for children ages 3-6

forest fridays



Our philosophy is that when guided thoughtfully and provided with plenty of time to play freely in a varied natural environment children will naturally develop into whole and healthy people. In our play-based program children will develop small and large motor skills, empathy for each other and the natural world, social skills, imagination, risk-assessment skills, endurance and resiliency, ecological literacy and connection to the natural word. Free play, which we see as the work of the child, will be balanced with hikes, stories, circle time and teacher organized seasonal crafts/activities. 

Daily Schedule:

8:30am- arrive 
8:35am- circle
8:45am- hike to play area
9:15am- free play - teachers bring optional supplies
10:45am- story 
11:00am- snack
11:30am- optional craft and free play
11:50am- goodbye circle


Circle songs, verses and activities will be seasonal and will promote language development, motor skills, spatial awareness, and group formation. 

Fall Semester: September 13--December 20, 2019 - 14 sessions - 8:30 am-Noon each Friday (FULL; please call 608-625-2965 to be put on waiting list)
Spring Semester: January 10--May 22, 2020 - 19 sessions - 8:30 am-Noon each Friday

Each session will include: a hike, story, healthy snack, singing and nature awareness games.

Fee: $420/child for fall semester *
        $570/child for spring semester *

*Children must register for all sessions (no individual session rates available)

Questions? Please contact Jonel Kiesau at 608-625-2965 or


Refund/Cancellation Policy: Forest Friday’s will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Payment must be received to guarantee your child’s spot. If cancellation notice is received at least 14 days prior to the start of the semester, a refund will be given less an administrative fee of 25%.  If notice is received less than 14 days prior, no refund will be made.  Scholarships are available for financially disadvantaged students. Contact the KVR for more information. Registration implies permission for photos to be used on the KVR website or other publications (student’s name will not be used) unless the KVR receives notification in writing prior to the program.

Instructor Biographies:


Susana Ruder


Susana Ruder has been involved in nature education and early childhood since 2007. She has worked as a  garden manager offering programming for children with special needs, lead summer camps for children based on nature exploration and free play, worked as an instructor at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and created and directed a small forest school program for kids ages 3 to 6 in Viroqua. Susana has a degree in early childhood education, training in Waldorf curative education as well as training in permaculture and biodynamic agriculture.

Photo of Ximena Puig


Ximena Puig has a master’s degree in early childhood education from Oberlin College and Waldorf training for grades 2-5. She has spent the last 13 years of her life dedicated to children as a teacher (grades k-5), teacher mentor and parent. Raised in rural Richland County she has been drawn back home by her love of place. She is passionate about providing children with the opportunity to fall in love with and be in relationship with the natural world.




Kickapoo Valley Reserve | S3661 State Highway 131 | La Farge, Wisconsin 54639 
Phone: 608-625-2960 | FAX: 608-625-2962

Facebook logo

Pinterest logo