The Nature Explore Classroom at

Home Sweet Home Child Care

Home Sweet Home Child Care has designed a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom that provides a multi-sensory learning experience for infants and toddlers.



After attending a Nature Explore workshop training, I thought incorporating an outdoor classroom would provide a wonderful learning experience for infants and toddlers to explore, discover and investigate the natural world around us. We have carefully divided our small backyard to create all the area needed for certification. The classroom has a clean, calm, natural look that is very inviting. Each area is clearly visible and identified by a colorful wooden sign. This natural space encourages sensory, physical, and social exploration.

The music and movement area contains musical instruments and scarves to inspire creative movements. The building area offers open-ended possibilities like building with tree blocks, bamboo blocks and natural materials. The toddlers love the open action area space to run, jump and fling their bodies. In the messy area and sand area, children are free to find various seasonal materials such as leaves, pine cones, straw, rocks, and feathers which provide important tactile experiences. In the garden, we have a variety of edible plants to enjoy such as peppermint and strawberries along with hosta plants and peony bushes. In the gathering area, children gather around for a story or some quiet time to watch the butterflies and birds.

Our outdoor classroom has given the children a chance to explore with all of their senses and to begin to appreciate the natural world around them. This has been an awesome journey to create this interesting and appropriately challenging outdoor space for infants and toddlers. Home Sweet Home would like to thank the core group of people who helped to make it happen and the families who continue to support us. It is only the beginning of our Nature Classroom and we are very excited about planning the next phase.

Lenore Johnson, Owner/Director




5810 N. Christiana Ave.
Chicago, IL  60659