Editor’s Note: This is a personal review from 2015. Current class format and experience may vary.
Curious preschoolers and their caregivers can learn all about where their food comes from at Little Sprouts, an educational program facilitated by the Lake County Forest Preserves at Bonner Heritage Farm, June through October.
LCFPD Little Sprouts at Bonner Heritage Farm
Each session of Little Sprouts features stories, hands-on activities, and a craft project. Children may plant a seed, weed the garden, or even churn their own butter. All activities are age-appropriate and can be shared with an adult caregiver. I found it a nice little primer for young children entering preschool in the fall to get them used to being around a large group of kids while still having the comfort of a familiar adult nearby. The program is facilitated by educators from the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
Little Sprouts is an affordable one-hour long – perfect for short attention spans, and pre-registration is required. Families can decide which individual sessions you wish to attend, so it’s perfect if you have summer camps or vacations to accommodate. Pick and choose when you’re available and sign-up accordingly. Unlike recurring classes, you have no obligation to continue, although your child may be anxious to return for each program, particularly to see how their plants have grown.
Crafts take place in a shaded barn while storytime and other activities occur outside, so dress appropriately, remember sun protection and bring cool drinks on hot summer days.
After class, consider extending your morning at Bonner Heritage Farm and nearby Millennium Park. Larger-than-life farming exhibits are perfect for small children to explore and make great photo opportunities. Keep in mind that Bonner Farm isn’t an actual working farm, so don’t expect to see any live animals. It is, however, a fun and historical site that doubles as a self-guided outdoor museum and interactive playscape.
Across the spacious parking lot, you’ll find the playground at Millennium Park, which is part of the Lindenhurst Park District. This lovely park has real restrooms, water fountains, and a shaded pavilion with picnic tables. On a sunny day, you may be tempted to stay and play all day!
Directions: Enter on Sand Lake Road just west of Route 45 in Lindenhurst. Turn north from Sand Lake Road onto Country Place. The parking lot is located on the right, just past the bend.
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.