At Tofino Nature Kids we believe children should have fun while experiencing hands-on learning. We provide children with an environment where they feel comfortable to explore their learning at their own pace. We strive to create a deeper connection with nature, using the outdoors as our classroom and Mother Nature as the guide.

Our Philosophy

Since the beginning Tofino Nature Kids has been an ever evolving program, adapting to the children and families needs. We focus on the child’s innate desire to learn and follow their lead, creating a safe environment for them to learn and grow. We help facilitate children’s curiosities, expand their imagination and safely guide them on adventures. We believe that a combination of child and teacher lead activities help children develop their social, cognitive, physical and emotional skills. We use a combination of Emergent-Curriculum, Montessori, Reggio-Amelia and Forest School Philosophies to support your child’s development.  We hope that every child in our program feels safe and nurtured as they grow from the inside out.

We Strive To

  • Teach your child/children how to be respectful, caring and compassionate about other humans and nature.
  • Provide a warm, caring and diverse environment.
  • Inspire your child/children to explore their creativity and their imagination
  • Build their independence and learn their strengths.
  • Help support your child/children in developing a sense of wonder and adventure.

Guiding Principals

Guidance and discipline techniques practiced are age and developmentally appropriate, non-threatening, positive, consistent, and respectful so that we can promote each child’s inner self-control, build self-esteem and encourage problem-solving and independence.

Our History

In January 2014, Jay and Shawna Roberts founded Tofino Nature Kids. They were seeking the opportunity for their children to experience a deeper connection within themselves, to the natural world and their community. After four successful years of nature connection they passed the torch on to Heather Fleming, a naturalist, and newly certified Early Childhood Educator. Heather has always had the desire to work with children in nature and this was the perfect opportunity to make it a reality.

Our Team

Heather Fleming

Owner and Lead Program Facilitator

Heather has lived in Tofino/Ucluelet on and off since 2011. She has worked primarily at Jamie’s Whaling Station as a naturalist on the water looking for the incredible wildlife that live in our area, such as feeding gray whales, breaching orcas, wandering black bears and soaring eagles. She has also worked as a kayak guide for Paddle West Kayaking exploring the scenic waters of Clayoquot and Barkley Sound.

Heather has worked in a variety of childcare positions including summer camps and a nature based preschool in Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Science in Geography and an Early Childhood Education Certificate. In 2018 she combined her two passions when she took over Tofino Nature Kids. She now gets to explore nature and inspire children to do the same.

In her free time Heather enjoys being outdoors, walking in the woods or on the beach, exploring tide pools, sea kayaking and camping. She really enjoys travelling and has been fortunate enough to have set foot in over 20 countries. Some adventures she has been on include, chasing animals on a safari in the Great Plains of Tanzania, spying on birds while working as an intern in the cloud forests of Ecuador, and swimming with dolphins in New Zealand.​

Heather is looking forward to exploring the tide pools, playing games, building sand castles and feasting on wild berries with you!

Rachel Hirst

Assistant Program Facilitator

Rachel grew up in Vancouver and Tofino, spending most of her time swimming in the sea and photographing mountains and forests. She is so excited to be part of the Tofino Nature Kids team and is eager to explore the beach and have fun!

Rachel has a background working with kids and adults with autism spectrum disorder and in customer services. For the past two years she has explored Australia, while getting her Masters in primary teaching. She is passionate about creating positive learning environments where kids feel supported and are encouraged to be creative and enjoy themselves.

Some of Rachel’s hobbies include hiking, writing music, and taking photos. Over the years, Rachel has been able to enjoy these hobbies around the world in places like New Zealand and Tasmania. She can’t wait to continue to explore the world and the spaces right here in beautiful BC – and she looks forward to exploring with all of the nature kids this summer!

Andie Roberts

Assistant Program Facilitator

Andie is an island local who grew up in Qualicum Beach and is now so excited to call Tofino home. Her passion for the outdoors began in childhood where she spent all of her time exploring the beach and climbing trees.

As an adult she has always felt a pull to the West Coast as it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world. The opportunity to co-facilitate a child-led centre that supports the children with provocations in nature is truly a dream come true. She’s always loved working with children and has had the opportunity to work alongside an incredible group of dedicated ECE’s who shared their incredible wisdom and direction.

In her spare time you can find her exploring the beauty of the island with her best-friend, her little dog named Rosie.

She’s looking forward to getting to meet more of the amazing young humans in this community and to help inspire their life long adventure outdoors!

Tofino Nature Kids is not currently hiring, but if you are interested in volunteering please check out our job posting information and send us an email!

See Job Openings

Mission

The mission of Tofino Nature Kids is to cultivate inspired communities who are deeply connected to nature.

We nurture this by offering programs which build and strengthen community relationships. We create opportunities to deepen nature connection practices, storytelling, survival skills, music, naturalist study and outdoor adventures.

These initiatives encourage us to live to our full potential; to be healthy, inspired, intuitive and creative individuals who are fully connected to our environment, our community and ourselves and are also advocates for our environment.

Vision

Our vision is to offer each individual the opportunity to deepen their connection to their community, the natural world and themselves. To discover what their own unique gifts are and carry them forward inspiring others. We envision many generations enlivening communities and guiding us forward with knowledge, reverence and excitement for the natural world around them.

Core Values

Gratitude
Respect
Diversity
Community