The Nature Explore Classroom at
CA Montessori Children’s Center
CA Montessori Children’s Center has developed four new Nature Explore Classrooms at their site in Islandia, New York.
Their first Nature Explore Classroom was certified in October of 2008. The new spaces have transformed their traditional play yard into a beautiful, natural place for children of all ages to learn and grow. The renovated outdoor area has been developed with a designated space for infants, one for toddlers and two for preschoolers.
A variety of trees have been planted in a space that did not have any existing trees. These new additions offer different colors and shapes of leaves and much needed shade. They truly enhance the outdoor space while helping to block views of a parking garage and reduce noise of passing traffic. Local indigenous flowers, grasses, shrubs and assorted rocks, logs, stumps and other natural elements have been included throughout the space. Crushed slate and dirt glue allow for a smooth, even path.
The new spaces offer ample areas to build skills in developmentally appropriate ways. Features added to the classrooms include a large hill with a slide built into it, a climbing wall, drums and xylophones, a large labyrinth, a sunken sand box and a variety of opportunities for climbing, balancing, creating art, and building. Planter boxes and vegetable gardens are located throughout each of the spaces.
These new classrooms were developed with valuable ideas and input from teachers and families. The Center held tours of the new spaces for families and they also host regular parent/teacher committee meetings to educate, plan events, maintain and make enhancements to the outdoor spaces. Parents were involved with sharing ideas throughout development. Outdoor Classroom information and pictures are shared with staff and families in the Center’s newsletter.
1 CA Plaza
Islandia, NY 11749