Grow With Me
Most recently, I attended the OAEYC Conference in Sandusky, Ohio.
Several of the workshops that I chose, were those of nature play in the early childhood setting. The reason I chose these workshops, is because nature play has made such a positive impact in my program. Not only does it play an important part of a healthy lifestyle for children, but it provides and promotes problem solving among children, social-emotional development, language development and just good old fashioned fun. Each interest area of a natural outdoor classroom can cross over into other areas, and provide enrichment opportunities across the curriculum, including fine arts.
This year, our program has improved the music area with a banging wall and homemade xylophone provided by one of my volunteers and her husband. The children love making music and selling tickets for their outdoor concerts which I daily attend.
Since we serve a mixed age group, the older children involve the younger children in their play. This is where I see the scaffolding taking place both in the older and younger children. The older children learn how to interact with younger children, by being leaders in their play, and the younger children are developing their language at a much quicker pace. The outdoor classroom is a great environment to promote this type of learning.
In conclusion, I can’t say enough about the Nature Explore organization and want to publically acknowledge them for their great work in Early Childhood Education. In my opinion, it is one of the best things that has impacted this great profession. I believe children and adults become better people through the beauty of nature!
Tammy Beeman, Owner