First Church Preschool
The opportunity to expand on this interest presented itself when the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, who sponsors our preschool, decided to embark upon a campus redesign that encompassed our existing playground. From there, our teachers began to brainstorm and research ideas for a more natural outdoor space for the children, and the partnership with Nature Explore and our Nature Classroom concept design was born.
Our Nature Classroom includes a variety of plantings, from flowering to seed pods, many of which are pollinators, that produce throughout the seasons. The children enjoy watching our apple trees bear fruit, our cornstalk grow, and even observing the growth of pumpkins this year.
Our Nature Classroom features a unique Mud Kitchen, built from recycled materials by our preschool families. We framed an old, discarded stainless steel double sink and brought in a variety of pots and pans for use in the Mud Kitchen. The children can engage in dramatic play and enjoy making mud pies.
In learning to help both children and themselves engage more fully with the Nature Classroom, our teachers have developed ideas for bringing in various materials and activities designed for the space. Our dedicated Nature Classroom teacher uses thematic units featuring natural materials to incorporate into our Nature Classroom including apples, pumpkins, acorns, snow, ice, and flowers, just to name a few. More ideas like this are actively being developed as we take advantage of the ever-growing and changing opportunities presented by our Nature Classroom.