Edgewater Preschool and Children’s Village Preschool teachers are the best!
In our constant desire to find new ways to bring nature into our curriculum, some of the team members attended a workshop titled Natural Experiences in Children’s Lives. As the staff had the opportunity to build with sticks and playdough, touch and feel different natural items and hold a tarantula, a caterpillar, a rat and a hissing cockroach, they were reminded of the fundamentals of nature/outdoor play and how it positively affects and fosters children’s development. For example, free exploration facilitates children’s discoveries of finding new ways of doing routine tasks, and it allows children to review the event and their participation in such events. With freedom of exploration also comes the possibility to repeat a specific activity to allow mastery (it takes children’s brain approximately 1000 times to independently master a task). Repetition also enables children to recall sequence of events, which is an essential part of the scientific process. Group exploration of natural materials provide a variety of experiences such as negotiating with each other to create a desired effect, event or result by listening, communicating ideas with peers and sharing materials. Lastly, natural materials are the underpinnings for creativity allowing for open ended manipulation of objects; the sky is the limit!