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

Jay and Shawna Roberts founded Tofino Nature Kids in 2014. They were seeking the opportunity for their children to experience a deeper connection within themselves, to the natural world, and to their community. After four successful years, they passed the torch on to Heather Fleming, a naturalist, and newly certified Early Childhood Educator. Tofino Nature Kids bloomed under Heather until 2022. Caleb & Bethany Harding feel honored to continue the legacy starting in 2023.

Our Team

Caleb Harding

Owner and Lead Program Facilitator

Caleb grew up on Vancouver Island and has lived in or seen almost every nook and cranny. Born in Nanaimo, he grew up surfing in Tofino and hiking and fishing in the interior of the island.
Caleb has a deep passion and knowledge of the land, people, animals, and ecosystems that make up this coast.
He has a deep respect for the land and hopes to inspire such a connection with the next generation.

Caleb has worked in a variety of childcare positions including summer camps, recreation centers, schools, and community centers. A combination of geography and political science allowed him to dive deep into the intersection of the physical and social aspects of the coast. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria.
A former competitive swimmer, Caleb shares his love for the water as a passionate lifeguard, swim instructor, and water safety enthusiast.
He looks forward to encouraging everyone to enjoy the water and build their confidence in the ocean.

In his free time, Caleb enjoys being outdoors, camping with family, feeding his family from the ocean and the forest, surfing, and reading about the area around us.

Caleb 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!

Phia Krist

Assistant Program Facilitator

Phia spent her childhood exploring the forests and creeks of the East Coast of the United States. Growing up in Waldorf Education instilled a lifelong respect for and awareness of the natural world around us. She moved to Vancouver Island 7 years ago to study Applied Linguistics in W̱SÁNEĆ (Victoria), and has been in awe of all the beautiful nature here on the West Coast ever since. Since moving to the Island, she has discovered hiking, camping, snorkeling, surfing and climbing, and loves to be playing outside as much as possible. During her studies, Phia was able to travel and has lived abroad in Spain and Germany, following her passion for language learning. She currently speaks Spanish and German, and is learning French. After graduating, Phia moved to the Tla-o-qui-aht Ha-Hoothlee (Tofino) where she started working for Nature Kids in 2021. Working with children has been a lifelong passion, and getting to teach and learn in life’s best classroom (the outdoors!) is such a privilege.

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