KLA Schools of Plainfield

At KLA Schools of Plainfield, we have created a unique and special Nature Explore classroom that sets us apart. We firmly believe in the significance of children spending ample time outdoors, which is why we partnered with Nature Explore to certify our outdoor area as an official outdoor classroom.

Our Nature Explore classroom is thoughtfully designed to cater to different age groups. We have separate areas for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age students. What truly makes our school exceptional is the inclusion of an organic garden area. This additional space allows children to experience the wonders of gardening firsthand, learning about plant life cycles, sustainability, and the joy of nurturing living things.

In our outdoor classrooms, children have access to a wide range of materials and features that encourage exploration and creativity. We have a music wall with pots and pans, hands-on gadget walls, swings, play structures, benches, tables, mirrors, chalkboards, and even a designated “mess it up” area. Additionally, we have a mud kitchen where children can engage in messy, sensory play, as well as garden beds and reused tires for growing flowers and plants.

Throughout the year, our Nature Explore classrooms are meticulously maintained and kept appealing and safe for the children. We conduct regular seasonal maintenance, such as adding fresh mulch, addressing cracks in the concrete, and fixing wooden signs and outdoor chalkboards. We understand the importance of providing a nurturing and secure environment where children can freely engage with nature.

To further enhance the learning experience, we extend our indoor curriculum to the outdoor setting. Children bring various materials outdoors, such as chalk, bubbles, and trikes for toddlers, to document their observations and explore different light and shadow experiences. In the summer months, we focus on gardening projects and incorporate “Splash days” for water play. These hands-on experiences deepen their connection with nature and foster a sense of wonder and curiosity.
Community involvement is an integral part of our Nature Explore classroom. We actively engage families by inviting them to be guest readers, partnering with local librarians for reading and finger plays, and hosting DJ Jason for interactive music and dance sessions on the playground. Additionally, we celebrate International Mud Day every year, allowing children to fully embrace the joy of messy play and creative expression with mud.

Our dedication to nature-based experiences extends beyond the classroom. During Professional Development and Collaboration Days, our teachers receive specialized training focused on nature-related topics. They learn how to guide children in caring for natural materials, making connections to the environment, and incorporating outdoor provocations and natural materials into their teaching. By equipping our teachers with these skills, we ensure that every child’s journey in our Nature Explore classroom is enriched and meaningful.

In summary, our Nature Explore classroom at KLA Schools of Plainfield stands out due to our strong belief in the importance of outdoor experiences and our commitment to providing a safe, engaging, and nurturing environment. Through our unique features, extensive curriculum integration, community outreach, and dedicated staff training, we strive to create a transformative learning experience that fosters a lifelong connection with nature and promotes holistic development in our students.