Tuesday, July 21, 2009

“What do we want children to gain from the outdoor learning environment?”

The easy way to create an outdoor classroom is to mimic how we look at indoor classrooms outside. At the beginning of each school year when buying equipment for our classrooms and setting up the space, we do not ask what children will like, but rather we ask, what do our children need to gain from their time with us? For the playground we should do the same things: not ask if children like slides, decks, and tunnels, but ask “What do we want them to gain from these outdoor experiences?” The Adventurous Child recommends that just like the indoor classroom, there should be many different learning centers that meet your state’s Early Learning Standards. As with the indoor classroom, manipulatives and free choice should abound. Each week, this blog will discuss concrete ideas and ways to determine what children can gain outdoors and specific ideas of what you can do outdoors. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment or to contact me!

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