April 23, 2019

In the upcoming weeks we will be extending our ventures outdoors and looking for all the signs of Spring: birds, flowers, green, bugs, etc. We will continue to start our mornings outside as we have done all year. As the weather gets warmer we hope to bring some more of the classroom outdoors. We will take an easel outside, water plants, and practice some simple hammering outdoors. We also hope to start some seeds in the garden boxes. As our plants grow we will use them in various ways during the summer weeks, such as herbs and vegetable/fruits for snack and flowers for plant watering, flower arranging and learning new vocabulary .

The benefits of outdoor play are important for development. Children need to explore, imagine, try new things, and learn alone or with friends. Ultimately, what any of us learns most deeply is what we have explored. Physical activity is necessary for children's development and health. Open space offers children opportunities for big movement, vigorous social play, and explorations big and small. Their activities help them refine motor skills and teach them how the world works.  There are many challenging facing children today including: Lack of exercise, preoccupation with electronic media, perception of outdoors as an unsafe place to play, isolation from and fear of nature, and lack of engagement in and connection to the world, including nature. Outdoor play addresses these challenges by:

Getting children outside and more active
Involving children in hands-on, loose-parts outdoor play
Creating opportunities to learn how to handle outdoor risks safely
Connecting children to nature in ways that encourage them to connect more deeply
Teaching children about cause and effect through outdoor and interpersonal activities
Providing children with a wide range of activities that support their holistic development
(The Outdoor Classroom, by Eric Nelson, 2012)

We will also be exploring some new songs, poems and books around gardening, birds, bugs, water animals and summer themes as we come to the closing weeks of the school year.