Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.


Fledglings Nature Preschool


One of the first nature preschools in Montana and the first in the Billings area, Fledglings Nature Preschool is founded on the idea that kids learn best through play and hands-on experiences. Students spend at least 80% of their time outdoors, guided in exploration and learning by our skilled team of teacher naturalists. Academic skills such as pattern recognition, letters, numbers, and colors emerge from the child’s experience–counting birds on the pond, looking for matching colors of flowers and bugs, tracking animal prints in the snow, journaling about nature observations, etc. Positive social interaction and respect for others is heightened and reinforced by outdoor exploration and play, and the children’s learning is grounded in sensory experience of what is closest–the animals, plants, rocks, and weather that surround them every day.

Our approach draws from multiple sources, including Interest-led Flow Learning, Reggio Emergent Curriculum, Inquiry Learning, and others. Curriculum is designed on a two-year cycle for those students who enroll for multiple years. Our teacher-student ratio of 1:8 ensures in-depth mentoring and relationship-building, and frequent contact among the families of our students creates a community that goes beyond the classroom.

In the 2018-2019 school year, we will have five classes offered:

Days Times Cost
M-W-F 8:30-12:30 $270/month
T-Th 8:30-12:30 $210/month
M-W-F 12:30-3:00 $195/month
T-Th 12:30-3:00 $130/month
M through F 8:30-3:00 $670/month
Summer (week-to-week enrollment with summer camp) T-W-Th 8:30-12:00 $70/week

Preschool families are required to be members of the Center. To secure enrollment, all registration forms must be turned in and first month’s tuition paid. Registration form will be available for download on or before February 15, 2018.

Open registration begins March 1st, 2018. To be put on our mailing list or to inquire further, contact us at [email protected], [email protected], or at 406-294-5099.

Tours of the class and program are available on February 26th and 27th at 1:00 and 1:30. Please RSVP.

Registration Information:

  1. Download this form: FledglingsRegistration2018-19 and fill it out completely.
  2. If interested in automatic bill pay for monthly tuition, download this form: Bank Withdrawal Form for Monthly Recurring Center and fill it out completely
  3. Come to the Center with all paperwork in person during business hours. Doors open at 8am on March 1st.
  4. Registration must be complete (including family membership, all forms, and first month’s tuition for new students).
  5. If first-choice class is full, families can either opt to be placed on a waiting list for that class OR can sign up for an different class. If spaces become available, they will be offered in the order of original registration date/time.


Monthly Themes

September –Get to know yourself, your environment and classmates. Learn about teamwork and exploration.

October – Changes in Nature through senses

November – Preparing for winter, shelters, adaptations and foraging

December – Nature celebration with music, song and dance

January – Coverings: coats, boots, fur, feathers how do humans and animals deal with the cold

February –Enjoying the cold while working on cooperative play and colorful birds

March – Concert in Nature, listen, learn and mimic.

April – Water everywhere, learn the shapes of things while enjoying planting season

May – Plants and Flowers, how did we all change through the year?


A day at Fledglings (subject to change based on season and conditions)

8:30-8:45  Arrival and quiet discovery center time

8:45-9:00  Plan for the day and sharing

9:00-9:30  Outside Adventures (directed exploring and playing outside, working on climbing, balancing, creative thinking, lifting, building)

9:30-9:45  Inside to wrap up Outside Adventure (review what we saw, do an activity or craft)

9:45-10:15  Wholesome Snack (provided by Audubon, prepared by preschoolers) and free play

10:15-10:45  Unstructured playtime in the Shepard Nature Play Space

10:45-11:15  Story time/music/crafts

11:15-12:00  Outside for guided exploration (guided science, math and language exploration may include netting in the ponds or fields, making rivers at the pond, canoeing, float sink experiments, etc)

12:00-12:30  Lunch, Clean up & head home


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