The Importance of Bringing Nature into Play – Shale Blog – April 13th, 2017
“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as
one of the most important events in their lives.”
– Thomas Berry
It’s likely noticeable that in our Shale environment, we try to bring as many natural aspects into it as possible. Whether it’s our tree blocks or our live plants; we are consistently trying to provide the children opportunities to explore our natural world inside and out. Now that spring is upon us, it brings new opportunities for our Shale children to explore the outdoors and cultivate an affinity to nature. While we were walking in the backyard, we noticed Lilia sitting quietly in the flower garden, exploring the dirt and wood chips. She would carefully inspect each piece very closely, flipping it to see each side and feeling the texture slowly with both her hands and her mouth (with supervision of course). Though this was only a small snapshot of Lilia’s outdoor exploration, it demonstrates a moment in time when Lilia was developing a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world. She was using all of her senses to explore her surroundings, connecting to and respecting our natural world and she was happy to do it.
The play yard also provides a wonderful spring, natural environment. Splash pants and rubber boots are definitely a requirement for our yard, but it provides an opportunity for us; educators and parents, to support and role model exploration and appreciation to our natural world! This means getting messy – fully interacting and entering the wild spaces with the same amount of wonder as your child. A perfect example of this happened earlier this week when Lucy May ventured out into the play yard to find a large muddy puddle in the middle. She watched as Sarah and Cassi walked through it with their boots. Cautiously she began her journey into the puddle. With a bit of wobbling and nervousness, she had successfully crossed the entire puddle. All of the educators applauded her success, and while she was riding the wave of accomplishment, she slipped and fell face first into the puddle. Immediately upset, Lucy May cried out for help as Cassi took her in to get cleaned up. Not long after, she came back out, new coat, same boots and charged straight at the puddle, determined to cross it again. She did, very successfully multiple times there after. Lucy May showed such persistence and determination during this time of outdoor exploration! How can you support and provide opportunities for your child to fully explore natural, wild spaces?
Some Special Notes…
– This week is a short week for Easter, we will be open Monday!
– It is also our MacEwan student, Chyanne’s last day today – we had so much fun having her join our team these last 4 weeks and wish her all the best in the future!
– Please take a look at our ‘loose parts donation table’ in front of our classroom. We are currently looking for napkin rings, dried out marker lids and ‘GoGoSqueez’ lids!
– Keep the spring weather outdoor gear comin’, we’re sure to be going outside more to explore!
Have a great weekend, Sarah, Cassi, Young and Emily