The first official day of Spring was March 20th and here in Casa Creek we are so excited for our plants to begin blooming and nature to come alive! Working outside brings a plethora of opportunities to learn from nature through experience. Here in Creek, we take advantage of the warmer weather as often as we can.
Spending time in nature encourages physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. The children in Casa Creek spend their days playing and working outside, breathing in fresh air, and developing both their large and fine motor skills.
Maria Montessori emphasized the importance of immersion in nature to assist in the development of the whole child, and she believed the outdoor environment is the extension of the indoor environment. Here are a few pictures of some of the first Casas, can you spot any parallels?
When the child is called to work outside, they are bringing the inside out, the outside in, and learning to care for plants and animals.
In the Casa, we take every opportunity to learn from our environment, both inside and outside.
In March, we were able to learn from the deconstruction of our older garden box when Cindy Harley came to take it apart. The children found earthworms in the soil, and Cindy showed where the fungus had begun to eat away at the wood.
The children not only learn through work outdoors, they are also learning while playing. Through cooperation, communication and a desire to be a part of the community, they build conflict resolution skills, imagination, and their social identities.
Books we are loving:
Podcasts we are loving at lunch:
Learning at Home in Nature:
-Take a sensory walk outside. Before heading out, ask your children what they think they might see and feel while they are outside (leaves, cement, rough bark, smooth wooden benches, grass, etc). While out on your walk, encourage your children to touch different types of textures and describe how they feel using language of sensorial qualities such as rough, soft, smooth, hard, wet, dry, smelly, scratchy, poky, warm, etc. -Use bark or leaves to create art out of nature and different textures. Place a leaf or piece of tree bark under a piece of paper and rub a crayon across the paper
-Go for a listening walk outside. Before heading out, discuss what sounds you might hear on your walk. While out for a walk use your auditory senses to listen to the sounds and take pauses along the way to discuss what you hear for example: birds singing, children playing, cars driving, wind blowing, gravel crunching etc.