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Play Club

Looking for a part-time preschool program that allows students to immerse themselves in nature 100% of the time? The Ijams Nature Play Club offers all outdoors, all the time!

Ijams Nature Play Club

  • Exploratory Play and Learning for Kids 3-5*


  • Low Child-to-Teacher Ratio

  • Social, Emotional, and Community-Based Development

  • Full Safety Plan to Care for Families During COVID-19

  • PART-TIME: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 am-12:30 pm

Is your family considering full-time or part-time preschool? Join us for an Open House!

Virtual - Feb. 5
, 6-7 pm
In Person - Feb. 7, 6-7 pm

Pre-Register and Get Updates

Walk-ups welcome!

Looking for full-time care?
Check out the
Ijams Nature Preschool

The part-time Ijams Nature Play Club provides a hands-on, experiential approach to learning that is based on the needs and curiosity of young children.


Students experience an outdoor, forest school-type educational model on 318 acres of protected land at Ijams Nature Center.


This program is perfect for homeschoolers, nature lovers, and families whose children aren’t quite ready for the full-time Ijams Nature Preschool, but are interested in socialization for their child.


Spots fill quickly! Please contact Education Director, Jennie McGuigan for questions or more information at +1865-577-4717 ext. 1010 or

Students must be 3 years old and fully potty-trained by their first day of school.


The Ijams Nature Play Club's mission is to:


  1. Inspire children, families, and educators to connect more deeply with the world around them. Through Ijams research and programs, children and families will develop a profound engagement with the natural world, where nature is an integral part of children’s daily learning.

  2. ​Focus on overall safety, customer service, and effective educational methods in a supportive environment.  



Ijams Nature Play Club tuition is $3,000 for the 2022-2023 school year, which runs from Aug. 8-May 24. Ijams Nature Play Club meets weekly on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 am-12:30 pm.

Ijams Nature Play Club follows the Knox County Schools holiday schedule, but sets its own in-service days, sick days, and inclement weather cancellations.


Upon acceptance, a $300 payment is required to secure a child’s place in the Nature Play Club. The deposit is nonrefundable and nontransferable, and will be applied to the March tuition payment.


Nature Play Club tuition for 2022-2023 school year is billed quarterly on the following schedule:

Initial Deposit        $300

Sept. 1                  $750

Nov. 1                   $750

Jan. 15                 $750

March 1                $450

TOTAL                  $3,000


The Ijams Nature Play Club does not charge additional registration or activity fees; tuition is all-inclusive. Payment plans are available to ease financial burden.

“We've loved having Mica in the Nature Play Club this year. So grateful for the opportunity. He's really enjoyed it, grown through it, and is of course now comfortable in any weather or outdoor environment. This is a great program that keeps preschool kiddos...outdoors in nature, physically active, and intellectually and sensorily engaged and curious. The program also emphasizes teamwork, companionship, boundary forming and respect, and active listening. Five stars, highly recommended.” – Dad of Ijams Nature Play Club student

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Ijams Nature Preschool child looking at flowers on trail
Ijams Nature Preschool children walking on stumps on a trail
Ijams Nature Preschool children looking at leaves
Ijams Nature Preschool children dipnetting in pond
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