The Chai Center Preschool and Camp
Our nature explore classroom is a highlight of our program and is continually used and considered as the “third teacher.” We use the area all year round. For our 2, 3 and 4 year old classes, this nature space is part of their daily lives.
Each time we go outside, we begin at the “gathering area” where we talk about our outdoor session and plan our time outdoors together. What is special about the gathering area is that it is also a wonderful place to relax and read with the children or enjoy a snack together while carrying on some language rich conversations. The nature explore classroom easily lends itself to our monthly theme topics. For example: during the Fall one topic is Pumpkins. We create a pumpkin patch (many of them being home grown) and the children enjoy pumpkin picking then bringing them inside for additional exploration.
We have a vegetable garden that each class raises and maintains. We examine and discuss the changes and growth that they see. Each year we add new plants, herbs and vegetables to our garden as well as beautiful flowering plants. Other areas we continue to use are our bike path, and sand area to enhance our fine motor and gross motor abilities step by step and jump by jump! In our mud kitchen imagination runs wild. Even through the winter, the children turn it into a snow kitchen busily cooking and inventing new “meals” for teachers and their friends.