The Arnold Arboretum has offered field trips for the Roslindale Head Start program in Boston since 2005. In this age-appropriate program, volunteer guides conduct multi-sensory explorations, allowing children to participate in investigations, gather a collection of plant materials, and make an observational drawing. Preschool children visit in the spring.
Programs in the Head Start Intiative leverage the innate curiosity of preschool children. They are keen to explore what they encounter, excited to make new discoveries, and eager to share their experiences with their peers, teachers, and parents. The enthusiasm of young children is amplified in a natural outdoor setting like the Arnold Arboretum. In past years, Field Study experiences for preschoolers have included exploring Willow Path, the edge of the meadow, and the North Woods. The spring program focuses on exploring the area around the ponds, which is rich in opportunities to examine lifecycle phenomena: birds building nests and feeding their young, caterpillars chewing leaves, flowers attracting pollinators, and frogs croaking at the ponds’ edge.