As a child many of us, built forts, dug holes, made mud pies, daydreamed in special hiding places and swung on vines. These activities are all nature play: unstructured childhood play in the outdoors. Nature play isn’t scheduled, planned, or led by adults. Instead, it’s open-ended, free-time exploration and recreation. For many of us, this sort of nature play virtually defined our childhoods. Good outdoor clothes are a must. Children will need to be prepared for the weather that day. As long as the weather is safe, we will go out and play!
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Emergent curriculum is based on the children's interest and passion at a certain point in time. Children thrive and learn best when their interests are captured. Learning occurs naturally through play. We strive to enhance the natural unfolding of the whole child leading to the development of capable learners.
Specific Examples of Development through Outdoor Exploration
COGNITIVE~ Literacy/Math/Science- Collecting, labeling, classifying, sorting, pattern recognition, journals, storytelling, singing, building structures (engineering), cause and effect in natural world
FINE MOTOR- drawing, cutting, picking (moss & bark off trees, flowers, plants), self-help skills, paining, sculpting, small scale construction, digging, breaking up dirt, carving
GROSS MOTOR- Hiking, climbing trees, running (on un-even ground), hopping, jumping, swinging, crawling, balancing on logs, circle games, large scale construction (fort building or lifting rocks)
SOCIAL- Conflict resolution, circle activities, group games/hikes, spontaneous & uninterrupted free play, group observation, storytelling, fort building, problem solving
SENSORY - Water & mud play, digging, sculpting, free exploration, smelling, tasting, nature collecting, weather experiences, music
EMOTIONAL- Uninterrupted imagination play, opportunities to problem solve & negotiate, journaling, observation of natural world, exposure to weather, self-help, breathing techniques
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