Discover the wonder of Nature Explore Classrooms
More than a playground
A collaborative project of the Arbor Day foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, using field-test principles for effective outdoor learning environments. Source: natureexplore.org
Connecting Young Children with Nature
How do Nature Explore Classrooms Support children's skill development?
Research from many sources provides evidence of decreased behavioral concerns and increased health benefits for children who spend regular time connecting with the natural world.
To answer the profound need for connecting young children with nature, the Arbor Day Foundation and the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation have collaborated to create the Nature Explore Program. At Positive Parenting At Trinity we are proud to be a part of this wonderful movement and have our own Nature Explore Certified Classroom.
Our Nature Explore classroom features spaces for large-motor activities, climbing/crawling, messy materials, building, a nature art area, music and movement, a children's garden, a gathering area, as well as riding paths through natural areas and places for digging and water play activities. In each of these areas, the children are surrounded by beautiful landscaping and elements natural to the Quad Cities region, The children observe wildlife, natural elements, and seasonal changes to enhance science learning. They learn to manipulate items such as flowers, acorns, leaves, snow, and ice. They watch the physical properties of our natural world change, grow, or die, exposing them to life-cycles. In the garden area, they learn how plants grow and reap the benefits of organic gardening at mealtimes. And these are just a few examples of how beneficial the outdoor classroom is to the children in our care.
"Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked to the sense of wonder. This way of knowing, if recognized, and honored, can serve as a life-long source of joy and enrichment, as well as an impetus or motivation, for further learning."