Our Outdoor Classroom is open for play! This is a place where children can explore nature, walk across stumps, balance along a log, build with natural blocks/tree cookies and explore and create! The Outdoor Classroom is a place where children can immerse themselves in nature, observe insects, pretend play, and therefore improve their cooperation and problem-solving skills while having fun. This special natural setting is a place of wonder, a fairy spotting environment, a place to create art or paint on our outdoor easel, a place to listen to a story, a place to play music, a place to run and be physical, and a place to explore.
How did you play when you were growing up? Did you play in the woods? Studies point to direct exposure to nature as essential for children's healthy physical and emotional development. Children who have opportunities to play and learn in nature are more likely to handle challenges more capably, act responsibly toward the earth and each other, be more physically active and aware of nutrition, have a greater appreciation of the arts; and become better-informed environmentally aware adults. An Outdoor Classroom is a place of wonder where school activities can be built entirely around nature. Did you know that imagination has been linked to adults' ability to problem solve?
The Outdoor Classroom Movement
Are you concerned about too much "screen time" and not enough "play time" for your children to explore the outdoors? After reading the research about what Richard Louv called "Nature Deficit Disorder" in his 2008 landmark book Last Child in the Woods, we made a commitment to provide an Outdoor Classroom where children are free to wonder. We have developed an enriching and engaging curriculum using Project Learning Tree and Growing up Wild.
Three Eagle Scout projects led by Grant Smith, Brent Yarnall and Mitchell Pan lay out the foundation for our Outdoor Classroom. Brent led the charge to clear the land, design the space, construct a series of platforms, and make signs. Grant continued the project by adding a "tree cookie" patio and six hardwood benches creating an impressive, mini ampitheatre. And in late 2014, Mitchell Pan added an easel, a balancing beam/log and a storage container. Thank you for these Eagle Scouts for their exemplary service.