If you can do it inside. You can do it outside.
In Nature's Classroom, the children learn to expect the unexpected. In Northeast Ohio, our children have the joy of experiencing all four seasons, and each season provides new and exciting possibilities. There are so many things for our children to explore and discover, and plenty of opportunity for them to observe and experiment. Children can't help but become little investigators. Curiosity thrives. Our children feel a natural connection to the plants, animals, insects, and earth all around them. A teacher may have a lesson plan in place, but when a child sees a bird flying outside the classroom window, it grabs their attention and feeds their imagination, and we support these daily curiosities. You just never know what present nature is going to give you. All of the elements (light, water, air, earth) provide a new way for children to engage. There are many wondrous sights, smells, and textures to encounter. Nature's Classroom has a treasure trove of materials for children to use to express their ideas. The children get to use water, mud, grass, twigs, bark, stones, and sand to create art and act out stories.
Opening doors to the natural world.
Many childcare centers are tentative about taking the children outside when it's cold or wet. Not us. We prepare children for all kinds of weather. We want them to experience snow, wind, puddles, and the sun. These seasonal changes give us an opportunity to teach them about readiness and safety, and you can be sure that they are properly dressed for the winter, and protected from sun exposure in the summer.
We hope that our focus on natural education helps break down the "wall" between the indoors and the outdoors. Nature is reflected in our classrooms with many natural materials as well as animals. Some of our classroom pets include a gecko, crickets, a bearded dragon, fish, and a chinchilla. These regular encounters with living things provide great exposure to the children. We also bring many traditional indoor toys outside. We believe that anything you can do inside you can do outside. Nature provides us with many items of interest and we give the children the tools they need to explore. Children are provided magnifying glasses, binoculars, and containers for collecting specimens. Children also have access to cameras and writing materials to document and record their observations.
Nature's Classroom has areas for climbing, digging, gardening, building, playing music, and making art. Our children are taught to make careful observations, ask questions, make predictions, and share their discoveries. Children can collect leaves, make homes for bugs, observe birds, go on nature walks, explore seeds and nuts, mimic the way animals move, and use all of their senses to discover the world around them. Nature's Classroom helps children get out of their comfort zone and take responsible risks. Our goal is for children to spend more time outside than inside as much as possible.