5 Steps to Bring the Outdoor Classroom to Your Preschool Playground!

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM / PLAYGROUND: 5 STEPS


If your environment is like most Preschool/Primary settings, there isn't a neat little area all set up for an "Outdoor Classroom" where children can readily practice activities that build skills in reading, writing, math, care of environment, and the sciences.

               Beautiful Outdoor Classroom Setting
Photo taken by Carolyn At the SF Bay Area Discovery Museum
All photos by Carolyn @ Magical Movement Company unless otherwise noted.

However, incorporating an Outdoor Classroom into your existing Playground can extend your children's academic learning experiences in a most playful, healthful, & engaging way!


                 PlayGround Meets Outdoor Classroom
Photo from the artists at Big Stock Photo

Here are 5 steps for successfully blending the Outdoor Classroom with your PlayGround:


1. SET UP A BIRD FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT.

        PlayGround Meets the Wild Birds
                     (This is Care of the Environment!)

Hummingbirds and/or local wild birds can be attracted by setting up a feeding station.  A hummingbird feeding station (found at Amazon) is the easiest & neatest of "habitats" to set up & maintain.



2. INSTALL A LITTLE WEATHER STATION.

                PlayGround Meets "Weather Station"
Photo by the artists at Big Stock Photo

Children can record data by using a rain gauge, an outdoor thermometer, and a wind sock. (all available at Amazon)


                               Rain Gauge
                              (This is Math!)


                            Outdoor Thermometer
                                  (More Math!)


                                Wind Sock Kite
Photo by the artists at Big Stock Photo
(This is FUN and also Meteorology!)


Recording the Day's Weather in the Little Notebook
                     (This is Writing & Science!)


3. CREATE A FLOWER/VEGETABLE GARDEN.


PlayGround meets Garden


This can be as simple as a small window box or as elaborate as a raised bed garden complete with worm composter & a tool shed.
                       Child-size Garden in a Box
      (This is Care of the Environment & Botanical Science)


              Garden Box Planted with Edible Herbs
(This is Botanical Science!)

      Stepping Stones in the Raised Bed Children's Garden
(This is Care of the Environment & Mathematical    Engineering!)


4. PROVIDE THE "TOOL BOX."

PlayGround meets Bird Watching Bag


The Outdoor Classroom "Tool Box" Should Have the Following:



             Child-size Notebook for Recording Data 



(This is writing!)


                                                  

Child-size Binoculars                          
                    (This is Scientific Observation!)



                      Scrubbing Brush for Cleaning Bird Feeders

Brushes for Cleaning the Portals of the Humming Bird Feeder


                              Watering Can


                (This is Care of the Environment!)






                      Bird Identification Book


               (This is Reading & Scientific Investigation!)




                       Child-size Gardening Gloves


                 Child-Size Plastic Hand Trowel & Rake
                    (This is Care of the Environment!)


****You can embellish this toolbox with things like: a hand-held bird call, insect identification book, leaf & flower identification book, signs & label making materials, mortar & pestle for crushing corn for the birds & egg shells for the garden, a child's camera, rocks with garden labels for children to "read" & place around the outdoors, and many teacher-made activities such as a recipe for bird seed mix, etc.)


(This is Reading, Math, Care of the Environment, Biological Science and FUN!)


5. SELECT A "LEADER" FOR THE DAY.


PlayGround meets Positive Social Interactions
and Fulfilling Work











The "Leader" for the day is going to need lots of help to complete all the tasks necessary for the upkeep of the Outdoor Classroom! It's great fun for the Leader to pick these helpers and it gives lots of children a chance to practice all those skills (like reading, writing, math, care of the environment and science!)
This is developing social skills and responsibility!

For more information about creating an Outdoor Classroom on your PlayGround check out these past posts of mine:

Little Children & Setting up the Bird Feeder 

Digging and Hauling Stones in the Children's Garden

Recording in the Birdwatching Book

Carolyn's Blog: The Outdoor Classroom Posts





Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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2 comments :

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Alex. Your site is wonderful as well...just checked it out. I hope you enjoy my other posts about outdoor classroom, too!

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