The Nature Explore Classroom at
Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center
The biggest change that our site experienced this year was the addition of our Messy Kitchen. We knew the structure would provide much needed shade and allow the children to play in many
Our hand pump is close by so the children can add water to their play very easily. We also added two additional music areas. We began phasing out our plastic toys and gradually replaced them with wooden items from Community Playthings. We purchased the outlast shed and blocks and many riding toys and push and pull carts. We have added wooden picnic tables and benches so all the children can eat snack and lunch outside.
The following testimonials say much better than I could what it is we hope to bring to our children and families at the Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center...we are indeed blessed!
From a parent that came and toured our Outdoor Classroom in hopes of recreating something similar at the preschool that her children attend:
Thank you for sharing your Outdoor Classroom with us. Clearly you have a passion, vision and a commitment to children and your job: we could feel the love! My co-worker and parent were very impressed and inspired to design, develop and provide such an environment for our children. It was wonderful to see children engaged in the dirt area, messy area and of course adorable toddler trying to carry the bike up the hill. One of our favorite areas was the messy kitchen. We have a similar place in our yard, and would love to build a house around it. The gardening along the fencing makes it feel so much like a home.
From one of our parents that served on our recertification committee to remain a Demonstration Site for the Outdoor Classroom Project:
Having the opportunity to evaluate the outdoor education program at the Fredrickson Family Early Childhood Center was quite an honor. As a parent, I am interested in seeing what happens on a daily basis after I drop my daughter off at school. I am very impressed with the program and how the children are engaged and learning about their environment, while developing both gross and fine motor skills. The children seemed very happy. The area was safe and the teacher encouragement and feedback was impressive. There was an adequate amount of time and space to allow for child initiation and play and continuous learning. The outdoor education program creates a sense of enjoyment and allows for nature and science to be explored. What I found most interesting, was the fact that most activities that are thought of to be indoor activities were being brought outside, allowing the opportunity for free movement and initiation. I am very grateful that my child has had the opportunity to be part of such a remarkable program.
At one of my gifted teacher's suggestion, Mrs. Heidi has written and added a blog post to the school's website. Follow this link to read a blog entry and see what we hope to bring to our children and families on a daily basis.
Elaine Davis, Director