Lena Pope Early Learning Center

Time outdoors in our Nature Explore Classroom continues to be the favorite part of the day for our children. The amount of learning that occurs there never fails to amaze us. The learning experiences can vary from guessing how many and what kind of insects can be found on a nature hunt, to building a fort with messy materials. Without fail, the sand hut and the grass hill are favorites.

Our teachers are adept at utilizing the classroom for all different types of lessons. For example, our teachers took advantage of our recent rainy weather. The kids took off their shoes and took cups, bowls and buckets out onto the covered porch and filled their buckets. They estimated how much rain fall we would get and how our grass and trees would respond. They then watched each day to see if the color of the grass changed or the leaves on the trees looked different.

Splash days were big this summer. It has been especially hot in Texas and splash days provide a great opportunity to cool off. Our students designed a car wash and were tickled when their teachers went through it. There was a lot of filling and dumping of buckets of water. Our students also figured out ways to go slower or faster on the slip and slide.

Just this month, we were surprised and very excited to find a pumpkin patch growing in our outdoor classroom. Last fall we had a large donation of pumpkins and the kids played with them for weeks. As time passed, they loved to watch and learn about the decomposition process. And now they see the next step in the cycle which is the growing of new fruit from the seeds.