The Nature Explore Classroom at
Webster County Early Learning Center at Blue Hill
Webster County Early Learning Center at Blue Hill focused efforts this year on annual maintenance.
Weeding flowering beds, replacing plants lost to the area drought and mowing the open areas to keep the large areas open to run and do activities were key tasks. Staff regularly checked climbing area rails, cabinets and surface areas to detect any maintenance issues. Treated four by four posts were used to replace poles that had rotted. During the school year, the children continue to help maintain plants by taking responsibility to water, check strawberry barrels, and help weed the flower beds.
Another main focus this past year was developing lesson plans to appropriately utilize the outdoor classroom to meet the needs of all the children and the requirements of the curriculum.
At the beginning of the school year, as part of the open house, families participated in a scavenger hunt that included exploring the outdoor classroom. Monthly family nights also feature activities in the outdoor classroom.
Pictures of the children are periodically sent home showing visually, what they were creating and experiencing while working in the outdoor classroom. Ideas for outdoor play are featured in monthly newsletters. Weekly newsletters are also sent home featuring outdoor activities for parents and children to do together. Some of these featured activities included taking a listening walk, finding signs of fall and cloud watching.
Ideas and materials on the wish list for the upcoming year include incorporating a weaving loom to the Art Area and a stump for hammering nails and using tools.