Why an outdoor nature classroom?
Hope Preschool in Fond du Lac, Wis., has created an outdoor classroom for 3-and 4-year-old preschool students.
Research shows outdoor activities enhance brain development and boost the immune system resulting with academic progress in reading, writing, and science.
The State Licensed, 4000-square-foot area features 10 developmentally appropriate activities for preschoolers. Activities include a music area for dancing, an art table for creating young artists, and a mixing area complete with a washing and ingredients table located under a large tree.
Fine motor skills are enhanced in a 16-foot x 12-foot x 12-inch sand area surrounded by cut logs. Problem-solving is fun for children in the “messy materials” area with logs, branches, and leaves to create a fort. Walking on tree “cookies” is a highlight and once a “cookie” is turned over it becomes a new world of discovery. The flower and vegetable garden is complete with a magnifying glass for spying butterflies and bugs.
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Member of Wisconsin’s Nature Action Collaborative for Children