The Nature Explore Classroom at Ann W. Wickman Child Development Center
From the moment you enter the magical play spaces at the Ann W. Wickman Child Development Center, you hear the sounds of children laughing, playing and loving the Nature Explore Classroom.
Each of the developmental learning areas encourages growth and new skills while the teachers observe and encourage the children's natural curiosity. Cognitive development is encouraged as the children explore the sandy beach area looking for hidden shells or decide what plants and flowers should be planted in the flower beds. Social Emotional development is explored as the children work on the musical drums and the new, recycled pan lid wind-chime to make a symphony of music, or work together making mud pie creations in the dirt area. Language development is engaged as the children associate the wooden signs with each center and begin to recognize letters in their own name in the signs. Physical development is increased as the children run and chase each other or balance on the large wooden lounging log
Old hollow tree stumps become space ships and a large climbing log becomes a boat that travels to distant lands. The children are fascinated watching their newly planted seeds grow in the six new above ground planters. They delight in picking the cucumbers, tomatoes, and other garden produce that they have carefully watered and tended to all summer. There are many small creatures like ants, snakes and bugs to discover in these plants and the tall grasses incorporated into the classroom. There are child friendly plants and flowers that bloom all throughout the spring and summer and provide unusual sights and smells for the children to observe and investigate.
Feathered friends are enjoyed with clear bird feeders that are placed outside each classroom with suction cups. Child sized picnic tables were added this year for outside art projects and snacking.
The Ann W.Wickman Child Development Center is currently in the process of developing an additional Infant/Toddler space. The teachers engage children in natural learning opportunities and enjoy watching these little minds as they are molded and shaped into curious adventurers!