Inspiring Little Minds Learning Center

The Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom remains the highlight of the children’s day! Imagine walking outdoors and entering a child’s version of paradise. A wooden ramp leads the way into a beautifully landscaped garden that was recently named “Peaceful Gardens”.

In Peaceful Gardens, you’ll notice the huge planter boxes filled with plants that the children themselves planted, which contain a mixture of aromas that consist of fresh herbs and sweet flowers. The landscaped garden sits alongside the Birds, Bugs, Bees and Butterflies sanctuary that the children have filled with all creatures that they dug up from our newly added dirt digging area, which has become the new focal point of our Outdoor Classroom, as the children love to dig for worms, peel bugs and other insects.

Immediately after the Sanctuary and Garden, you notice our newest addition the Gathering Gazebo, where meals are shared and multiple congregations take place, and sometimes children may catch teachers and other children sharing a quiet story time while taking in the sounds of wind and the serene atmosphere that sets the tone for a story time that will ignite and inspire the curiosity and imagination of young minds.

If you keep walking further, you come to another fence that exits Peaceful Gardens and enters the larger part of our Outdoor Classroom that was recently named, “Inspiring Wonders” and this part of our classroom is the children’s version of wonderland. Upon entering Inspiring Wonders, you immediately notice the “Great Tree”, the Great tree remains to be the main motivation and inspiration behind our reasons to become an Outdoor Classroom! To the left, there is a sandbox that features a mud kitchen and a wooden table with stumps as chairs where pretend meals are made, next there is the bike track where they can go as fast as they’d like or take it slow and enjoy the scenery. Next, we have the grassy field where the football games take place or a simple game of tag. Next, the basketball court that’s underneath the Great tree, and the gathering area for parents are to the right.

There are so many other tiny features, such as the music area and the balance beam! Not to mention that trail that leads you around the entire Classroom! There are so many areas of our outdoor Classroom that the children continue to adore and explore.

The Outdoor Classroom continues to be hugely successful because teachers have been encouraged to involve the outdoor classroom in just about every aspect of their day, whether it’s with their lesson plans or their family days. The Classroom is being used daily in the most creative ways. So much so, that parents have begun to understand just how important the Outdoor Classroom is.

This year we had special help from parents and our grounds keeper, Mr. Izzy, who is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and someone who feels a special connection to nature and has spent countless hours helping us realize our vision for the Outdoor Classroom! Mr. Izzy built and helped with a lot of recent additions like the Great Gazebo. He maintains the grounds, and he adds to the Classroom every chance he gets! Thank you Mr. Izzy.

Our teachers and staff do all kinds of fundraisers, but recently, the children got to vote for a chance to slime a teacher or a director of their choice! Our Assistant Director received all the votes! It was a successful fundraiser that went back into our Outdoor Classroom!

We are truly loving our Outdoor Classroom and we encourage others to join our efforts in providing all children a place that provides a sense of wonder and imagination while feeling inspired, safe, and happy!