The Nature Explore Classroom at
Ascension Lutheran Early Childhood Center
At our annual family work day we did a variety of up keeping to the outdoor classroom.
The Monarch Way station gained 6 milkweed plants and several butterfly bushes. Our volunteers created a meandering flagstone path around the milkweed for easier Monarch observation. A bench was placed at the center of the butterfly garden as a place of rest and to enjoy nature. To support the new plants and keep then well watered; we increased our drip irrigation system. Rich mulch was added to enhance the sensory experience and overall visual appeal of the garden. Our children have been able to observe the entire life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly, right in our own garden! On that same work day, another team of families cleared out and extended our heavy work area by digging out logs and mulch. Another team weeded the vegetable garden and dug in our stepping stone path. The rest of the families helped out with the general maintenance of our outdoor classroom.
Our infant/toddlers are enjoying their new outdoor diaper changing station! Now, outdoor time is not interrupted by having to go inside for each diaper change. Our outdoor space was also enhanced by adding electricity and shelving to support outdoor music and movement activities on both the infant/toddler and preschool yards. We also added fluffy dog beds to our outdoor reading area which make perfect small couches for our little ones.
One of our teachers attended Children Learning with Nature Training Institute which was twenty four hours of education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was able to share her experiences at a staff meeting and inspire our teachers. As a result the creation station was revamped with new items and many natural additions.
Pam Musburger, Director