When young children are outdoors, all five senses are engaged and thus a richer learning experience takes place. It is healthy for their developing bodies, their growing minds, and their connection to the world. A child’s social and emotional development are nurtured when these two critical elements of play and being outdoors are combined. In outdoor classroom environments, young children learn to collaborate with their peers, communicate with peers and adults, and practice social behaviors. Most importantly, they are learning who they are and where they fit into God’s big, beautiful world.
The ALECC outdoor classroom program has Nature Explore Certified since 2010.
Math & Science
When our young learners play outdoors, they regularly have authentic opportunities to count,
measure, use quantity words, demonstrate one-to-one correspondence, and they explore patterns, observe variations in size and shapes; they have hands-on opportunities to experiment with volume and mass.
When our young learners play outdoors, conversations occur, and they practice the rhythm of
language and the give and take of a conversation. They communicate their ideas, needs, and feelings; they ask questions, ask for help, and ask for turns. They are learning to collaborate and cooperate; they are learning what it feels like to work together, and they are learning how to listen to one another.
When our young learners play in our outdoor classroom, they observe nature first-hand; they make observations, ask questions, and share their findings with others. They have regular opportunities to experiment with water, flow, gravity, weight, and cause & effect. They experience seasons, weather, and witness nature’s changes throughout it all.
When our young learners play in our outdoor classroom they walk, run, jump, ride bikes, build, dance, climb, crawl, dig, balance, push, and pull; they also pinch, grab, and grasp. They are offered the opportunity to take “reasonable risks”. Our students are at the beginning stages of learning how to be a part of a community and are safely discovering their role within that community.