The Nature Explore Classroom at

Newport Center United Methodist Preschool

Newport Center United Methodist Preschool was established in 1967 in a beautiful coastal town in southern California.  We are very blessed to have an ocean view and lovely weather year-round!  All areas of our school are intentionally designed to stimulate young minds and bodies, and to invite curiosity and wonder of the natural world.

Through nature and sensory exploration, children experience a holistic approach in understanding themselves in relation to others and the world around them.   We strive to teach empathy and compassion for all living things.

Our Campus features 3 different yards: Little Yard, Big Yard and Children’s Garden. Children have many choices including access to gross motor activities, quiet spaces, messy, sensory play, art, dramatic play, fine motor, reading centers, and so much more!The “Nature Art Patio” is adjacent to the little yard and is used year-round for many wonderful nature-based activities. We also have two rabbits that live in the art patio.The highlight of our “Big Yard” is a beautiful native plant pollinating garden. We are a certified Monarch Waystation. There is also an open pavilion and large grass area that serve as gathering areas for special activities.

Our school would not be the magical place that it is without our amazing garden teacher, Mrs. Conger. It is the scope of her vision and imagination that has brought our native plant garden and children’s vegetable garden to life.  She has devoted much love, time, labor, and cost to make our school beautiful. The children adore her, and we are so grateful for her! We are also incredibly grateful for “Grandpa Wally” who has built many features for us including an interactive music wall, signs, funnel stands, benches, and chicken coop.

Occasionally, we are able to feature special guests from the community who are invited to share their special skills and talents with the children.  Airline pilots, doctors, nurses, dentists, professional athletes, fire fighters, police officers, librarians, musicians, are among some of our favorite guests!  Local community organizations such as The Reptile Zoo and Inside The Outdoors are invited to bring animal ambassadors for interactive and thrilling educational experiences. And of course, it is the families whom we serve that make our school such a great place to play and work.

Monies raised at our big annual “Fall Family Fun Day” fundraiser are used to enhance/update outdoor and classroom spaces with durable, natural items, as well as provide funding and materials for our gardening program. Volunteers donate their time once a week to assist our amazing garden teacher and students as they plant, nurture, and harvest veggies. Volunteers also help with animal care (chickens and bunnies) on a rotating basis. Parents and church members donate items such as dirt, rocks, plants, natural and recycled materials for outdoor and classroom use.  We are so thankful to be part of a beautiful church community who supports and partners with our school at every level.


1601 Marguerite Ave
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625