The Nature Explore Classroom at
Grand Fun Alley Learning Center
In 2013, we found ourselves tasked with reinvigorating our playground.
The plastic toys and equipment had left our teachers, parents and children yearning for more. The sun faded plastics had created a playground that was unimaginative, un-stimulating and an eye sore. Our playground had become nothing more than an outside gym, a place for kids to run.
While assessing the needed changes we realized that replacing our toys and equipment didn’t align with our core values as an early childhood education center. We truly believe that children of all ages are constantly learning, not just in the classroom. That assessment had given us a new direction, a more meaningful direction, a direction that we feel truly aligns with our core values.
We quickly scoured the internet and Pinterest for guidance, for inspiration to help us create our vision. Our scouring led us to Nature Explore, an initiative whose sole purpose is to educate children through nature. Transforming playground recesses into an outdoor classroom, a classroom that changes with seasons and nature, a classroom where imagination, creativity, stimulation are abundant.
Our outdoor classroom features nine areas for children explore, Action Area, Climbing/Crawling Area, Messy Materials Area, Building Area, Nature Art Area, Music and Movement Area, Garden Area, Gathering Area and Water Area.
We are looking forward to the future and the endless possibilities that an outdoor classroom provide. We are excited to involve our families through open houses, and encouraging the use of our growing vegetable and herb garden!
Chelsea DeJonge, Owner/Director
3704 S. Marion Road
Sioux Falls, SD 57106