The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Early Childhood Education Programs

Outdoor activities for preschool children

The Tiffin Centre offers enjoyable outdoor activities and learning opportunities for pre-school children.

The following programs are half-day unless otherwise indicated.


Animal Amble – Offered All Seasons

Grouped with an adult leader, students travel through a well-marked interpretive trail learning about animals that live in the forest. This fun, orienteering scavenger hunt develops student understanding of basic map reading skills.
This program best succeeds with 4 adult volunteers to assist with supervision of children.

Life in the Pond – Offered Spring, summer and fall

Following an interactive introduction to pond ecosystems, students will explore the fascinating world within ponds as they dip net in search of aquatic life. Through close-up observation and hands-on discovery, students will investigate and compare common characteristics of various pond plants and animals.

Living Landscape – Offered All Seasons
All Seasons

Become inspired by the natural beauty of the Tiffin Centre through guided outdoor landscape drawing sessions.

Habitat Exploration: Nature Discovery Hike – Offered Spring, summer and fall
After identifying the location and function of their sense organs, children will explore nature through experiential activities aimed to heighten awareness of the world around them. Children will also compare the use of senses in various animals and investigate ways in which animals respond and adapt to environmental and seasonal changes.

Predator-Prey – Offered All Seasons
This half-day program introduces students to the ecological food web. Through role play, students experience what life is like for all of the creatures that make their home in the Tiffin Forest.

The Sweet Taste of Spring – Offered in the Spring
This program focuses on the basic ecology of the maple tree and the production of maple syrup. An experiential tour of a working sugar bush displays the indigenous, pioneer and modern-day methods of making maple syrup through stories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

Winter Watch Hike – Offered in the Winter
After identifying the location and function of their sense organs, children will explore nature through experiential activities aimed to heighten awareness of the world around them. Children will investigate the forest in search of clues to help them understand how nature adapts to the challenges of winter. After our hike, children can warm up with a hot chocolate.

The Hive – Free Play Forest

Our free play space allows children of all ages to explore the wonders of the forest!

One hundred-fifty sections of cedar rail fence snakes through our forest creating a well-defined labyrinthine space for free play in nature. As a build-it-yourself loose parts playground, students transform the Hive using child size rails, logs and planks. Free play forest is a place for imagination, exploration and problem solving through open-ended play.

Thanks to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for their financial support of this project!

Booking a Trip

  • Step 1:  Email us at or speak directly with our environmental ​education manager​ at 705-424-1479 ext 280 to select a date and discuss program availability.
  • Step 2:  Once date has been selected & confirmed, you will receive a booking form.  
  • Step 3:  Complete, save, and return booking form with all pertinent details to
  • Step 4:  You will be sent an​ email to confirm we have received your booking form.​


Half Day: $9.70/student. Teachers and adult volunteers attend free-of-charge.
Minimum – 20 students per program, or a minimum fee of $194 for a half day, or $125 for a one-hour maple syrup tour.

​Cancellation Policy

There is no charge to cancel a booking provided at least two weeks’ notice is given before your scheduled visit.

If a cancellation is received with less than 2 weeks’ notice, your group will be charged for 50% of the scheduled number of students or the minimum fee.

In the event buses are cancelled due to inclement weather or teacher union job action, the cancellation fee is not required if the program is rebooked.

Please contact our environmental education facilitator to reschedule should this occur.


Teachers are to arrange own transportation.


As with all NVCA clients, visiting groups are responsible for the condition of the property and the conduct of participants. Damage to NVCA property may result in withdrawal of future booking privileges and users will be charged for any replacement costs, repairs and/or cleaning.

For more information

If you have questions about our programs, facilities or reservation procedure, please contact our environmental education facilitator by phone at 705-424-1479 ext. 280 or by email at

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