At Iroquois School, the youngest students love playing and learning outside. Providing age appropriate activities in all areas of development in the outdoor setting is the main focus of the outdoor classroom.
Preschoolers have been taking advantage of the great fall weather and spending many hours at the school’s outdoor classroom this year. The fresh air also provides a safe learning environment since it is difficult for preschoolers to social distance.
Preschool teacher, Mary Wienbar tries to provide opportunities for learning in all areas of early childhood development. In building their artistic skills, children have the opportunity to easel paint, draw with sidewalk chalk, dot paint on mural paper, or use crayons on old rolls of wall paper. Sensory learning includes a water table, sandbox, and raking and rolling through fallen leaves. Messy play is important for sensory learning and early childhood development. Early literacy and numeracy activities include reading stories in the shade of a tree, writing names with giant letter magnets and playing hopscotch or stepping stones. Children can weave cords or laces on the weaving panel to make shapes, letters or numbers. Other activities include a chime board for making music and a Lego building station.
Wienbar recently wrote for and received a United Methodist Women’s Love Ribbon Grant, to purchase equipment to be used at the outdoor classroom. An interlocking giant blocks set and interchangeable outdoor ramps, purchased with the grant money, have been a great addition to the outdoor experience.