'Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.'
~ Fred Rogers
Our outdoor classroom is an interesting space. It may look different from day to day depending on what the children have set up with our loose parts, which include tires, ramps, crates, logs, boxes, leaves and whatever else we can get our hands on.
We have an edible garden which the children help grow and maintain. We have had success with carrots, kale, sugar snap peas, apples, strawberries, mint, oregano, radishes, tomatoes, pumpkins, nectarines and limes, and that's not only with growing them, but eating them, too! We also enjoy using what we grow to make a snack or to infuse our drinking water in the classrooms.
Our outdoor classroom caters to children's gross motor development with trikes, monkey bars, a flip bar, a fire pole and a climbing tree. Simply running, jumping, digging helps with a child's development, too, which is why we highly value being outdoors in nature.
Our outside play time is not limited to gross motor development, however. Fine motor activities like painting and beading may also be set up. A large part of social development also happens here where all three classes mingle and children can form friendships. Maybe even conflict will occur which is a very normal process of child development, without which we could not learn to resolve.