The Nature Explore Classroom at Temple Beth Sholom Early Childhood Center
The staff at Temple Beth Sholom are continually re-evaluating the established Areas in the Nature Explore Classroom and discussing ways to improve them.
During the course of the past year, many additions have been made. The Sound Garden added wind chimes and additional "musical" pots and pans. The bordering logs were adjusted to grant greater access into the area and ease supervision.
The Art Center was relocated to be near both shade and water. Additional easels and art supplies were purchased and cabinets were identified to store art supplies. The entire area was enhanced with additional plantings.
Additional edible plants and a small fruit tree were added to the Garden Area. A storage shed containing quiet activities and sketching materials was moved into the garden allowing a comfortable area for quiet activities.
A Reading Corner was added under a shady arch of the building. This area developed into a space with cozy seating and a supply of books.
Staff professional development involved reading "Lens on Outdoor Learning" by Banning and Sullivan and "Natural Playscapes" by Rusty Keeler.
During the year, Temple Beth Sholom hosted many activities that allowed families to appreciate the Nature Explore Classroom with their children and others. A dinner was held in October where 20 families ate and played together in the outdoor classroom. Other organized events included a Fall Festival, participation in International Mud Day, a Father and Special Guest Day and a Parent Appreciation Breakfast.