Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
We receive many questions about TimberNook programming and becoming a provider. If you do not see your question answered below, or you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.
How is TimberNook different from traditional outdoor programs?
Most nature programs set their focus on getting children outdoors and teaching them about the environment. TimberNook shifts the focus from how the child can help the environment to how the environment helps the developing child. At TimberNook, we view outdoor play as a form of preventive health care for children. The more they engage in child-directed learning and take reasonable risks outdoors, the more they are equipped to be successful in home and school environments.
Can I make money with a TimberNook program?
Yes! TimberNook programs have a solid record of commercial success. With proper marketing, our unique product quickly attracts a strong following.
What do I receive for my TimberNook provider fee?
A lot! Over the course of a year, providers receive 8 full days of training. This includes a five-day intensive session in 12 acres of woods, river, and giant mud puddles at TimberNook headquarters in New Hampshire, followed by a three-day session at the provider’s location when new programming begins.
In addition to training, providers receive new program curriculum annually, marketing support, including fully branded point-of-sale packages, centralized registration through TimberNook.com, prominent listing on the TimberNook website, and management of all back-end operations from TimberNook.
How long will it take me to recoup my initial investment?
The revenues from TimberNook programs vary from location to location, and also upon how many programs you offer throughout the year. Net revenues from programs also depend upon the costs incurred by providers for staff and site costs.
Will I have to compete with other local TimberNook providers?
TimberNook providers have a protected territory to ensure there will be no encroachment on its customers or its customer base by another provider.
Can just anyone become a TimberNook provider?
No! We have a rigorous selection process to help ensure both the success of TimberNook program operators, and also to maintain consistent quality across all TimberNook locations. We are looking for people who are passionate about getting children outdoors, moving and having fun, and who also have strong management and interpersonal skills.
Do I have to be a therapist to own or run a TimberNook program?
Our programming is therapeutic by design and some of our providers are specialists in physical or occupational therapy, but a background in therapy is not necessary to run a TimberNook program. We give you all the training and background you will need, as well as detailed information about the therapeutic benefits of each TimberNook experience.
Does TimberNook have to be a stand-alone business?
TimberNook can be combined with existing businesses–including schools, daycare centers, occupational therapy practices, and even other outdoor programs–or it can be a stand-alone business opportunity.
Do I have to develop my own curriculum?
One of the many benefits of TimberNook is that our team of curriculum developers design highly-creative and never-done-before curriculum every year for TimberNook providers. These curricula are adaptable across a wide-range of locations and are provided as part of your programming fee.
What does a typical day at TimberNook look like?
There is no typical day! We do everything from re-creating stories in nature to building elaborate designs and structures out in the woods to hosting enchanted forest parties at night. As part of the TimberNook philosophy, unstructured free play is incorporated into every day, and children take the lead. TimberNook reveals the fun in outdoor play.
Does TimberNook only operate in the summer?
TimberNook programming can be done year-round, in every season; including week-long summer experiences, after-school programs, birthday parties, and holiday events.
What ongoing support is available for providers?
TimberNook gives you access to a network of fellow TimberNook providers, as well as child development specialists who have a passion for getting children to spend quality time outdoors. We also offer annual conferences and online training opportunities.
Do I have to own land?
Many of our providers rent land or use a host site such as a local farm, park, or school that has a wooded or large outdoor area. TimberNook will help you learn how to find a suitable local site for your program, and we help providers to maximize whatever outdoor spaces they acquire to enhance the TimberNook experience.
Do I need insurance?
Yes, you will need to have general liability insurance.
What makes TimberNook different from a Forest Kindergarten and/or a Nature preschool?
Although the setting for all three is in the outdoors, these are very different types of programs. While forest kindergartens and nature preschools are academic in nature, TimberNook is a play-based enrichment program where the main focus is on providing children with experiences that aren’t available anywhere else. TimberNook offers programs for children ranging in age from 18 months through sixth grade, unlike many forest programs that end at age 6. The customized curriculum, designed by pediatric occupational therapists to stimulate the whole child, enhances the skills that students will use in school, but is not a replacement for school.
Can I receive Continuing Education Units while training for TimberNook?
Yes, you can receive Continuing Education Units as a teacher or as an occupational therapist. Teachers can receive non-specified credit for TimberNook training activities. For Occupational Therapists, TimberNook is an AOTA Approved Provider #11692 and is authorized to offer the designated AOTA CEUs and Corresponding contact hours. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
Through our varied training techniques, TimberNook Providers will be able to:
Identify current trends in educational and social environments that have led to a decline in the occupation of outdoor play.
Prepare and evaluate outdoor environments and communicate the therapeutic benefits of sensory rich play experiences in nature.
Define terminology necessary for understanding and implementing the TimberNook approach to outdoor play.
Demonstrate an understanding of how to inspire child-directed play opportunities outside and why this type of play is essential to healthy development.
Observe behavior patterns in children and implement appropriate behavioral interventions in alignment with best practices of the program.
Progress through the necessary processes to successfully launch, market, and grow an independently owned business that espouses the therapeutic values of the TimberNook program.