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Welcome to

Mighty Bambinis
Reggio Forest Program

Connect. Create. Grow.

Mill Valley & Tiburon 

Mighty Bambinis is...

"Look deep into nature, and then you'll understand everything better." Einstein

In the first 5 years, 90% of our children's brains are wired creating pathways of thoughts and behaviors that will be with them for a life. Studies have shown the sensory-rich natural world heals, soothes restores, and connects us. In nature, children learn a deep connection between themselves and the living world, confidence in their own abilities, and the importance of caring for our Earth, our bodies, and each other.

 

 Mighty Bambinis' child-centered Reggio Emilia approach nurtures children's intrinsic curiosity, creative problem solving and expression, and cooperative pro-social behaviors.

Outside. Safer Together.

We are responsive to changes in Public Health guidance and the families in our program. We are following Marin County guidelines

Program Details

A forest preschool-aged childcare program where children and families THRIVE

Hours

9:00am - 1:00pm or 9:00am - 3:00pm year-round in Southern Marin

 

Ages

Mixed-age 3-6 years olds and potty trained

**Read about the benefits of Mixed Age Programs 

Ratio

Low ratio of around 1:5 (educator to child). Group size around 20 children per day 

Philosophy

Reggio-Emilia Project-Based inquiry in Nature 

Connection-focused Positive Discipline 

Parent Community & Support

Parent education series taught by our Director Evelyn (CCSF Faculty, parenting expert)

 

Meaningful community events (camping trips, holiday celebrations) 

Enrollment

We accept children ages 3 to  6 years (Kindergarten Entry) for our program.  Our enrollment season for Summer and Fall starts is November to February. Outside of that, enrollment is on a rolling-basis as spots open during the year.

 

Enrollment process:

  1. Submit a Prospective Family Form and application fee

  2. Take part in a Getting to Know you Phone Call

  3. Visit us for a Playdate Tour

  4. Enrollment Offers & Acceptance 

  5. Welcome! & First Week Transition Plan Development

See Enrollment Page for details. 

 A nature-immersion forest program for 3-6 year olds where children thrive in connection with others and nature; create and learn through play and project-based inquiry; and grow in self-knowledge and confidence. 

 

AND a community where parents learn positive, connection-based parenting approaches and support each other during the preschool years and beyond. 

 

 

Connection

learning through relationships

"What a child can do in cooperation today, he/she can do alone tomorrow"  Lev Vygotsky

Children are ready to learn when they feel connected, safe and respected.

Hands-on Learning

Project-based, child-centered

Through our inquiry process children develop a love of learning (not an accumulation of facts) and value process over product. 

 

wonder (inquiry) > experiment (discover & fail) >  reflect (express) > repeat

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Nature
our teacher

Earth, the original sensory-rich classroom, allows infinite sources of wonder and discovery. Each day, our students venture out into nature to observe nature, inquire how the world works, and think like scientists ready to become the leaders our planet needs.

Schedule

Year-round Program

Ages: 3-6 years old

Summer Camp

Ages: 4yo - 7years old 

June to August

 

Each year some year-round children take the summer off, we can enroll non-Mighty Bambinis for 9 consecutive weeks of summer camp.

Program Closures

Program Closures mirror Mill Valley Schools calendar except for summer break.

  • Martin Luther King Day

  • Lunar New Year

  • Mid-Winter Break (M-F)

  • Spring Break (last week of March M-F)

  • Memorial Day (observed on Monday)

  • Summer Break (1 month ~6/9 - 7/9 yearly)

  • Labor Day

  • Indigenous Peoples Day

  • Veteran’s Day

  • Thanksgiving Break (M – F)

  • Winter Break (2 weeks)

Daily Rhythm

8:30am

Educators arrive

9:00am

 Arrival with provocations and free play. Arrive between 9:00-9:30am

9:30am

Morning Circle followed by Snack and Calendar/Phonics Letter of the Week

10:30-12pm

Projects and play! Materials will be provided to further discovery, nature journaling and revisiting projects

12pm

Clean up followed by Lunch & Story Time

12:40pm

Hike back to pick up location

12:50pm

Closing Circle, pick up at 1pm

Aftercare from  1-3p

3:00pm

Aftercare pick up

Community

Find your Village 

While we can’t turn back the clock to days past when we lived in attachment villages, we can purposively and constructively create them for ourselves. An attachment village is an invisible matrix in which children mature, developing a sense of rootedness, belonging, and connection.

At Mighty Bambinis we foster deep connections between families without the time consuming volunteer commitments of a coop preschool. 

Through community events like camping trips and seasonal celebrations we regularly gather about every 4 weeks. In addition we have monthly dinners and parent education nights. Attendance or at least one parent at most events is required.

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Our Approach

Mighty Bambinis merges the child centered Reggio Emilia philosophy with the Nature-immersion philosophy.  

Principles by which we guide our curriculum:

 

Connect

Young children thrive in caring community with teachers and peers. At Mighty Bambinis, relationships are at the heart of learning. Each child and teacher is seen, heard, respected and known. Our educators are playful, loving and yet firm. This balance creates space and time for freedom within limits where children thrive to their fullest potential.

 

Parents are invited to connect and learn in community through our parent education program and special events. We are trained and inspired by mindful, connection-based teaching approaches -- Positive Discipline, No Drama Discipline, RIE (Resources in Education), and Hand in Hand Parenting to name a few. 

 

Create

We see children as co-creators of their learning process in the forest and the classroom. We believe each group of children bring their own unique interests. Our emergent curriculum is based on the interest of the group, ever-changing and documented by our teachers on a daily basis. 

 

Grow

In the first 5 years, children's brains are developing faster than any other time in life. The experiences during these foundational years forge neural pathways that shape the way children's mental patterns natural fall into. In nature, humans are less anxious, more connected to the present moment, our bodies are challenged and strengthened. We are so honored to witness children's wonder, guiding, extending and learning along with them.

Our Founder

Evelyn Nichols, Founder and Director of Mighty Bambinis is an Early Childhood  expert with over 15 years experience. She is on City College of San Francisco Child Development Faculty, parent educator with Early Childhood Matters, and has a Masters in Education, Elementary (Multiple Subject) and English credentials, and CTC Site Supervisor Permit and more. 

Our Earth Educators team are Earth seasoned educators, explorers, artists, herbalists, naturalists and mindfulness practitioners. Together we guide, observe, learn and play with your children.  

What Parents Think

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Rebecca Walsh,

parent & founder of Early Childhood Matters

" I have been in the field of Early Childhood for over 20 years; teaching, directing and now running my own teacher consultation/parent ed company.  Needless to say, my standards are quite high.  The teachers are emotionally connected and really seek to help the children to learn to be problem solvers with their peers, as well as to develop their intellectual curiosity.  Even at the youngest ages, they are chopping vegetables for their weekly soup, using wood-working tools and currently have an "invention room" where they are building cars, rocket ships and anything else they might imagine out of boxes, canisters, etc.  The curriculum is exactly what I would want to see for a group of children 2-5, and I cannot say enough about the program!"

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Ruth,

Mighty Bambinis mom

"They are so knowledgeable about child development, both book-smart (they know the field of child development well and can talk with parents about it too) and experience-smart (the children can feel the love and competence and it makes them comfortable). The parents/families of Mighty Bambinis are also a tight knit community that is very supportive of one another. There is a lot of email discussion between the parents and enthusiastic attendance at a school camping trip, parties etc. When we joined Mighty Bambinis we wanted a preschool where our son would be cherished and encouraged. We found that we also we welcomed into a community of thoughtful and loving families and our son has a daily experience being cared for in a way that goes beyond our high expectations of what a preschool can do to care for our child!" ~ 

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Noe Venable, 

Meadowlark Music & Parenting with Nature

Evelyn  is an amazing teacher and a wise, compassionate presence. She has so much expertise, and she brings it with such care and mindfulness and grace. I'm so excited that you're doing this, Evelyn, and I know that all who participate in this program, whether as teachers or as families, are going to be supremely blessed.

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Auna, 

Atticus' Mom

"I'm not sure I can say enough good things about Mighty Bambinis and the experience my son had there. The staff is extremely caring and nurturing. They work closely with parents to ensure each child's needs are met and that the parents are aware of the latest developments with their child. The environment is very accessible for the kids, safe, educational (without it being shoved down the kid's throats) and fun. They constantly have activities for the kids to participate in so things aren't ever stale. Mighty Bambinis was everything we could have hoped for in a preschool and SO MUCH MORE! We were extremely sad to leave Bambinis behind when we moved to the East Bay. So much so, that I shed tears over it!  If you're in search of preschool you should absolutely check into them further! You'll kick yourself later if you don't!" ~ Auna, Atticus' mom

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Laurel, 

Zayden's mom

 "The entire MB team is very caring, responsive, and fun too.  Given the Reggio-Emilia inspired orientation, they are also flexible and follow what the individual child and group desires (vs strict pre-planned curriculum)... Also in tune with the school's philosophy, there is a lot of documentation.  I found this priceless.  It was evident from the amount of detail that the daily updates (photos, activities, nap, food) took extra time for the staff to complete, but they were so special to receive.  Not only did these daily updates provide a substantial view of my son's day, they also served as a launching point for my son to share more about his day...  In conclusion, I highly recommend Mighty Bambinis without hesitation.  It is a place where your child's curiosity is welcomed and valued. It is a place where the staff are flexible, caring, attentive, and knowledgable.  It is a special place where your child  will surely grow while receiving much attention and love."  

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Tonya & Seth,

Indi's parents

"I'm a pediatric OT, and before that was a teacher, so I was very picky about where we chose to send her.  I wanted a place that was warm, nurturing, with a good focus on all areas of development and ample outdoor access. The strong emphasis on sensory exploration and the social emotion piece were big wins. Our daughter came into toddlerhood with constant gentle reinforcement on how to interact her peers and it continues to show. Sharing and turn taking was not easy. As her language developed they gave her the words and skills she needed to be a good friend. Evelyn was always very communicative and the daily emails with photos made us feel like we were right there with our daughter as she got to explore so many new things. We will definitely be looking into sending our next child there as well."