Grand Forks Montessori Academy
The GFMA Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is an asset that supports our children’s needs for a consistent, healthy outdoor experience. This was especially helpful during the Pandemic. Our children engage in all our outdoor environment has to offer, from free play, to those activities that develop gross and fine motor skills, and offers creative spaces for art and music appreciation.
Throughout the changing seasons, our creative staff help the children to understand the world around them with careful observations, inquiries and experiments. We plant seeds, tend to the plants and flowers, enjoy the resulting fruits and vegetables, and take note of how our actions impact our environment.
There are so many ways the children utilize the outdoor classroom as it offers endless opportunities. Children enjoy observing the wildlife, the birds, the butterflies, the flowers and leaves. They identify the wildlife tracks in the snow, build igloos and snow families in winter or engage in water play during the warmer months. They make bird food crafts for their feathery friends, measure the growth and change of the vegetables they planted, and explore the woods. They get to climb trees, play tic-tac-toe with twigs they collect to make a grid and use pebbles and seeds as X’s and O’s. They practice their letters in the sand, play music outdoors, and make mud pies in their ‘restaurant’ as they become entrepreneurs using their imaginations.
The GFMA Outdoor Explore Classroom is a space where students can creatively express themselves while engaging in a healthy, outdoor environment that is designed to address their developmental needs.