We've struggled a bit to get moving with developing our outdoor classroom. While we have a great base; we just needed a bit more "umph" and some nice warm weather like we have been having currently, to get going! The other day, another teacher and I made a little trip to an early childhood center not far from our location. The Children's Campus is already Nature Classroom Certified and has done a great deal of the foundation work for this that we are just beginning. All of the photos below come from their Nature Classroom. Keep in mind, it is still a bit cold here- so no plants are really visible on these photos!
We were able to get a very good idea of what we could realistically do! Because they are located in the same area we are, we know we will need to follow similar safety guidelines. Seeing what they have done, what large items they have purchased and how they have stored items was invaluable!
Since our visit, we have brainstormed a "dream plan" :) of large and small items I believe we could collect, make or have made for us, have donated or may need to purchase. We are sending home letters to parents to get more input and awareness about the project, as well as funding. We need to develop more of our loose parts/building area. We need to continue to expand on our music area. We need to develop an art area and a group time area! I know, I know...we're just starting with small areas first!
One of our big projects that we want to begin soon is developing a garden! We've had small garden plots in the past for the children, but we've never had one right next to our outdoor learning area. Locating directly outside of our area would be ideal as it would give very easy access and the children can be directly involved in every process on a daily basis!
|Their Group time Area. We are planning to buy the same cedar benches as these.|
|Their Loose parts/building Area|
|Their Music Area|