Image of farm animals.

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center includes 160 acres of farm, gardens, pasture, forest, and pond with endless opportunities for discovery and adventure. Preschoolers, ages 3-5 years, will explore farm and nature topics of interest as a part of seasonally-based investigations.


Our Farm Sprouts Preschool Program at MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center connects young children to local food and nature through hands on experiences in the outdoors, building a foundation for future learning and stewardship.


We believe in the importance of play, through which children grow emotionally, develop social and cognitive skills, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences.

We utilize an interdisciplinary, child-centered approach to education which incorporates science, mathematics, the arts, languages, and literacy in order to create meaningful and essential connections for learning.

We provide young children with opportunities to experiment, explore, and engage in science play and practices as they build an understanding of scientific inquiry processes.

We develop lifelong habits and preferences by involving young children in all aspects of the farm to table experience.

We strive to build a strong learning community in which families, cultural diversity, and collaboration are valued.


A farmer cultivates the soil and nurtures crops so they grow to their potential. Like the farmer, we nurture the young children who visit our farm to help them develop and grow, as they gain new abilities, self-confidence, and independence through their experiences, the foundational soil they need to flourish. Preschoolers sink their roots, developing a sense of place and an appreciation for the land and its living creatures, from the worm to a sugar maple tree, the diversity of life inspires wonder and curiosity. Just as crops are harvested when they reach maturity to nourish those who consume them, Farm Sprouts too, carry their experiences at the farm into their lives, shaping a better future.

View the "Registration Information" document below for further program details and visit our blog to capture a sense of our program:


Tuesdays / 8 weeks / September 10 - November 5 (no class the first week in October due to Pumpkinfest)


Wednesdays / 8 weeks / September 11 - November 6 (no class the first week in October due to Pumpkinfest)

Morning Session: 9 - 11:30  a.m. / $300 / 3-4 year olds

Afternoon Session: 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. / $360 / 4-5 year olds

Children should be comfortable using the toilet to participate. Program space is limited, so be sure to register early!

Financial aid is available. Please visit for more information.


A $50 fee will be charged to cancel your registration up until two weeks prior to the program start date. After that time, we are unable to provide a refund.

Program Flyer

Registration Packet

REGISTRATION OPENS ON APRIL 20th at 8:00 A.M. (Please note you will see the date April 21st, but it will switch to April 20th at that time.)

Registration for Farm Sprouts Preschool Program is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 23, 2019.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information contact MSU Extension Tollgate Early Childhood Programs Office at 248-347-0269, ext. 230 or