A child-centered
materials lab and exploratory space
for learning through art and play.

Welcome to Willow Nest Studio

We offer a home-based preschool alternative for children ages 2.5-4.5. Since November of 2015, our inaugural program, Story Tree Play Group,  has offered a small class size playgroup experience for children in a unique, peaceful, nurturing and aesthetically charged environment. The Willow Nest Studio space has been carefully designed with young children in mind, thoughtfully outfitted with a materials lab, an extensive children's library, and moveable spaces for light and shadow play and fort building. It also provides room for theatric arts and movement, art centers for paint and clay,  spaces for loose parts constructions, and a fort for cozy, restful comfort. The space is open and full of transformative possibility. 

Located on the second floor of a sunlit art studio, on a beautiful tree-lined street in Windsor Terrace, and across the street, Prospect Park, children are cared for and inspired within the studio's nest walls, as well as shepherded safely into the park for forested, nature walks and playful explorations in the great outdoors. The walk to the beautiful meadow across the street is just a few minute's walk. Outdoor play is an integral part of the program and happens every day that weather permits.

Willow Nest Studio is privately owned and operated, licensed and insured.

Our philosophy is child-centered, holistic and inquiry based. We believe that children thrive when given permission to explore sensory rich materials, to direct their own learning, and to share their own thoughts and feelings. Guided play, provided by caring and interested, listening adults, lies at the heart of our practice.  Every child is unique and filled with potential. We focus our attention on children's strengths. Our teachers are fun and dedicated to making the learning experience at Story Tree a positive one for every child.

We are influenced by the Reggio-Emilia approach, the play theories of Lev Vygotsky and many other leaders in the importance of play and the multi-modal arts in early-childhood development. These approaches aim to help children develop a sense of self and the executive functioning skills fundamental to becoming life-long learners. At Willow Nest Studio, children develop their potentials and skills needed for school readiness in a holistic way.  It is our goal to serve the whole being of each child so that he/she may be helped to grow their potentials as innovative thinkers and caring citizens of the world. 

Story Tree Playgroup is wonderfully creative and is committed to the following:

  • Keeping a low student/teacher ratio, 5:1
  • Encouraging Community and Parent input
  • Supporting Children's Holistic Development by Integrating the Multi-Modal Arts Languages
  • Supporting Individuality and Children’s Interests
  • Following developmentally appropriate practice
  • Utilizing an array of daily documentation to assess progress and develop emergent curriculum
  • Designing a Play-Based and Process-Oriented approach to learning

We are opening our doors for Open Play Workshops and are currently accepting playgroup applications. To learn more about what we do, and to receive the latest information as it becomes available, we encourage you to join our mailing list.

Fast Facts

Hours of Operation

9:30 am–12:30 pm or 1:30 pm
Tuesday–Friday

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

We integrate: visual arts, music, creative movement, dramatic story play, puppetry, light and shadow theater, nature and science exploration, sensory play and adventures in group planning and social skill development.

STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO

5:1

FACILITY

On the second floor of a large, sunlit home art studio. A short walk to Prospect Park's Vanderbilt playground and with a forested field across the street.