The Darien Nature Center is holding registration for its fall programming. The programs range from mom and me classes to weekday enrichment and after-school nature adventure classes. The themes for this year's preschool programs revolve around children's literature.

Nature's Playroom is a nature discovery program for 3- and 4-year-olds. The fall session begins the week of Sept. 12 and runs through Dec. 16. The morning session takes place Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. and the afternoon session is offered afternoons from 12:30 to 2:45 p.m. Children in the morning sessions can bring lunch and stay until 1 p.m. Afternoon children may bring their lunch at 12:30 p.m. Designed to complement a child's nursery school experience, children may be registered for one day per week only. Mothers have the option to sign up for the fall session only or receive a discount by signing their child up for the entire year.

Children's literature featuring the fairy tale classics, art, music and outdoor adventures on the trails, fields and pond are the primary mediums used to reveal the mysteries of nature to children.

Another program for 3- and 4-year-olds is Critters and Kids. Children will learn about animals through animal tales, including "Good Night Owl," "The Very Quiet Cricket" and "The Runaway Bunny," to name a few. They will also get to know all of the Nature Center animals and all those living outside. Children may be signed up one day a week for Critters and Kids on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. They may also sign up for Lunch Bunch. Children have the option of being signed up for both Critters and Kids and Nature's Playroom.

A nature program for moms and their 2-year-olds is Knee-hi to Nature. Knee-hi runs from Sept. 12 through Dec. 16 and takes place on Monday through Thursday mornings from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Moms and tots will read the classic board books, including "Pat the Bunny," "Goodnight Moon" and "The Big Red Barn." They will also explore the trails, learn about the animals and do art projects. Children learn socialization skills while exploring the wonders of nature.

Another program for 2-year-olds is the Nature Center's drop-off program, Nature Time for Two's. Moms may drop off their children from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in a class of up to eight children with two adult teachers. Activities include learning nursery rhymes, meeting the animals, simple crafts and trail walks.

Nature Time for Two's begins the week of Sept. 12 and runs through Dec. 16.

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An alternative program for 2-year-olds is "Animal ABC's ...123's.

With a focus on the alphabet and numbers, children will learn their numbers and ABC's while being introduced to animals. Class meets on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from Sept. 12 to Dec. 16 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day. Children may be signed up for one day of Nature Time for Two's and/or one day of Animal ABC's.

For the wee ones, the center is offering a hiking program called Babes in the Woods. One of our Nature Center teachers will guide mom and babies on hikes through Darien's Parks: Selleck's Woods; Woodland Park; Weed Beach and Cherry Lawn Park. Starting Sept. 30, the hikes will take place on Fridays, from 10 to 11 a.m., until the weather turns. All participants must preregister and will be given the calendar for the month.

For older students, the Nature Center is again offering its after-school program, Animal Caretakers Club. Designed for children in grades one through six, Animal Caretakers meet from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. The program begins Monday, Sept. 19 and runs through Dec. 16. Exercising the animals, cleaning their habitats and learning their ways are among the duties of the members of the Animal Caretakers Club. At the end of each session, the children choose their favorite animal and do a small presentation for their families.

Nature Detectives, for grades one through three, will discover nature's mysteries out on the trails and pond. The program takes place on Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. The program will run from Sept. 22 through Dec. 15.

Survivor is back. This program for children in grades three through five tests the survival skills of the energetic 10- and 11-year-old. The kids will erect shelters, build fires, tie knots, learn to use a compass and test their capabilities in trust building exercises. This outdoor program will run on Wednesdays, Sept. 21 through Dec. 14, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Trail Trekkers is an outdoor exploration program for children in kindergarten and pre-K. The changing seasons in Cherry Lawn Park will provide the setting for their adventures. The program takes place Fridays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., Sept. 23 through Dec. 16.

For program and registration information, contact Debbie at debbie@dariennaturecenter.org. For more information, visit www.dariennaturecenter.org. After Sept. 6, call 203-655-7459.