Sprouts is no ordinary school.



Nature is the ultimate expression of art and art is a reflection of nature.  

At Sprouts, we bring art & nature together for children to connect the creativity of art with the beauty of nature, building a core appreciation of each. 

Creating sculptures from homemade clay, preserving autumn color leaves in wax, and choreographing a butterfly ballet are just a few of the many projects we do at Sprouts.

Outside of projects, children spend most of their time at Sprouts outdoors: building, creating, and playing with natural loose parts.



An urban nature school is an outdoor space - much like your own backyard or public park - to explore, learn, discover, and enjoy nature as part of our every day lives.


Sprouts sits in a residential neighborhood in the heart of Champaign, IL. Many Sprouts families walk to school.


A four-lane road runs nearby, a gas station is down the street, and the noisy hustle and bustle of city life surrounds the property.


Inside the privacy fence is a 7,500 sq ft nature playground that hosts a variety of eco-systems and habitats that the children use over 2000 hours a year.


Nature is not just a place you can travel to or visit; we can - and should - appreciate it, enjoy it, and conserve it in our everyday lives.



Children today are far less exposed to both art and nature (and more exposed to screen-time) than any generation before.  In order to help grow kids that are creative, free-thinking, respectful, and appreciative of the earth, we need to re-instate these important experiences in early childhood. 

Sprouts aims to provide children ages 2 years – 8 years the chance to play outside, to explore the natural world, to connect with local eco-systems, to form relationships, and to develop imagination.




A micro-school is a small consistent community of families.  

Sprouts is a very small program with only two teachers, 18 students at one time (1:9 average ratio) and approximately twenty-five families total each school year.

The small number of families, frequently aligned values and hobbies, and children of similar ages, creates a tight-knit group forming lasting meaningful relationships.