Best Beginning Preschool
Several improvements have been made to our outdoor classroom this year.
First, we built a ladder and platform above part of our stage area. Unfortunately, a tree which the stage is built around needed to be cut down. We decided to leave part of the tree as a base for the new platform. Children love to pretend this is a castle tower and look down at the schoolyard from a new angle. They also love to use our new outdoor cloth (we purchased several more this past summer) to create an elevated shelter. They also use the tower as a place to play musical instruments.
In addition to the tower, we have added more cut bamboo to the messy play area so it is easier for children to construct their own shelters. The new outdoor cloth is also of use for this activity. We hired a boy in the neighborhood to cut additional tree cookies for our nature art building area so that the students could enjoy larger and more elaborate building projects. We also expanded our herb garden so that some herbs are closer to the mud kitchen area. Students love to sample the herbs and then “cook” with them.
One feature that makes our outdoor classroom unique is the low ropes course and zipline. We love to watch the twos going under the ropes or balancing in one spot on the ropes. As the children move up to our 3’s and 4’s class, they decide they want to learn to ride the zipline. This involves a fair amount of upper body strength and courage. By the time the students graduate, they can usually complete the entirety of the low ropes course, starting at the top of the hill and making it down to the bottom, where they ride the zipline. They don’t touch the ground the entire way. This is a source of pride and a real accomplishment for many of the students.