Outside in nature a child can have more space. Space to practice creative problem solving, build confidence and spatial awareness, learn to assess risk, and strengthen physical development in a way that is not achievable with an indoor program. Here we focus on "whole child" learning by incorporating body, mind and environment into problem-solving and community-building.
Although our program relies on free play and emergent curriculum, we intend to have the same routine each day. This will establish boundaries and help to build a safe space in nature for our class.
Here is a sample day & nature experience for our class:
Arrival & Transition to Nature: Upon arrival and farewell to parents, children will be allowed to engage in free play in an open space with the option of two assisted activities.
Gathering & Thankfulness: The class will together for a time of welcome and thankfulness to set the tone for our time together. It is at this gathering circle that we introduce the week’s theme; themes shift with the seasons and could include .
Exploration & Finding Our Place: Through the course of our day we will move through the park, and as the year progresses and more familiarity with boundaries and expectations, the children's geography will expand to gradually more of the park.
"Sit Spots" & Observation: Our first expereince will be a time of observation and reflection at each child's own “sit spot," at a place of a child’s choosing to explore and connect with the world around them.
Nourishing Bodies & Minds: Our second expereince will be centered on a shared story and snack time; building language and food traditions with the class.
Community & Play: Here, children will be allowed to navigate their own free play with others or themselves; developing games, honing leadership, problem solving, exploring, practicing conversations and more.
Goodbye Gathering:Our day is ended with a final gathering to share insights, experiences, and challenges that kids faced during class. It is a time for documenting ideas ad observations in nature journals; however, this documenting is not mandatory but determined by interest.
As we travel throughout our park, each experience is an opportunity for making meaningful connections and observations.