Water Oak Family Child Care Learning Home

Water Oak Family Child Care Learning Home in Roswell, Georgia has been in business for 13 lucky years. My favorite decision that I made in those 13 years was becoming a Certified Nature Explore Classroom.

I love outside play and the kids here do too! Outside play is a time that I see Water Oak Kids’ imaginations at their highest level of authentic child-driven creativity. The options of the nine different areas of sandbox, gathering area, building area, water area, dirt-digging area, nature art area, climbing area, messy materials area, and music and movement area fuel that creativity. There is so much space in the outdoor classroom between areas it helps to keep those areas defined to their purpose instead of a collage of all nine and still leaves Water Oak Kids an open field to kick a ball, roll down a hill or pull a friend in a wagon.

We play outside for 2 hours or more in the afternoon with an outdoor story time that naturally falls into place during a break in play. Water Oak Kids consistently get outside play time with the help their parents give for being prepared for the weather. In each cubby, you will find a raincoat and boots, sunhat and water shoes, winter jacket, snow pants, a warm hat, gloves and winter boots. The kids get to enjoy outside play in all seasons because, thanks to their parents, they are prepared with what they need. The most important part of them being able to enjoy outside play, whether they choose to jump in a mud puddle or run through the sprinkler or dig in the dirt area, is that when they come inside, they can consistently depend on their moms and dads to have their cubby stocked with clean clothes to change into and you can see on their faces how loved it makes them feel. The only dirty thing that moms or dads pick up at the end of the day is laundry. Parents are truly the foundation of a Nature Explore Classroom operating with smiling faces!

I have learned some lessons over the years since I was certified in 2018.

  • Stumps make wonderful places for kids to sit on for story time but they are best stripped of the bark so that ants aren’t the main characters.
  • Raised garden beds, that aren’t raised enough, will grow carrots so cemented in the Georgia red clay that finally something has a fighting chance to grow with the very tiny green thumb crowd.
  • If you put green plastic fencing around your garden bed to keep the animals out, you have basically created a playpen for the squirrels to romp around in during the day.
  • And it’s okay to say I cannot find joy in gardening and let that massive lemongrass plant thrive in the raised garden bed and simply enjoy adding it to our green smoothies…