The staff of Play Groups has expanded and adapted several of the study topics included in The Creative Curriculum® for exploration in the setting of the Outdoor Classroom. The result is that our children have the opportunity to develop many new skills, enhanced by working in a natural setting. Some examples include:
Developed as children share ideas, make decisions, negotiate, agree on tasks and problem-solve together with teacher support and modeling.
Language and Literacy Skills
Inspired through the introduction of new vocabulary, writing signs for the garden, creating poetry, dramatic storytelling and noting observations through print and drawings in a nature journal.
Include counting, predicting and estimating as children collect pinecones or build a house. As children explore measurement concepts such as length, area, perimeter and volume, the groundwork is being laid for later high-level work in subjects such as geometry.
Include classifying objects into groups with common characteristics, predicting, experimenting and drawing conclusions. Hands-on learning occurs as children directly experience life cycles, seasons and decomposition. Children develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around them as they help care for living things.
Enhanced by learning to negotiate well in space and to follow maps and design buildings. These skills are developed as children climb, build and look at the world from multiple perspectives.
Music and Movement Skills
Developed through the use of a variety of musical instruments that demonstrate sound, pitch, rhythm and tonality. Children experiment with natural materials to create their own music and sounds, cultivating improvisation and creativity.
Developed when children translate what they see, hear and feel into two- and three-dimensional art using natural materials.