The Nature Explore Classroom at Funshine, Home Away From Home
Funshine owner/operator, Kathy Reynolds, started developing her Nature Explore Classroom after attending training by Nature Explore Educational Services Director, Julie Rose.
She posted an article in a local Idaho Falls Magazine next, inviting families, friends, local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor to a groundbreaking event at her home, where her vision was displayed. Development began, not only on the outdoor naturescape, to promote exploration and exercise in a natural environment but on a new logo and tag line that was more natural.
Incorporating ideas and interesting names from children and their families is very important to Funshine. Unique names for areas include; Where the Green Grass Grows, Gather 'Round, Dawn to Dusk Sand Dunes, Wheels in Motion and the Funshine Wharf Boat Dock are just a few. A Master Gardener, parent helped design the gardens which attract a variety of wildlife. Native grasses, different types of surfacing, boulders, logs, stumps and Trex decking were used to add interest and separation throughout the classroom.
Funshine offers tours to encourage and inspire other facilities to start incorporating natural elements into their settings. Continuing education received from Project Wild, Be Outside Idaho, Nature Explore, and Child Care Aware all aid Kathy in her ability to provide activities for children and their families in gardening, bird watching, listening and many other enjoyable ways to spend time interacting with nature.
"It is a space that introduces children to nature so they gain an appreciation for all its beautiful and interesting elements and one that offers a comfortable and inviting space suitable for families to unite." - Kathy Reynolds