The Nature Explore Classroom at Rainbows United, Inc.
The Nature Explore Classroom at Rainbows United, Inc. Kids Cove Site is the 1st Certified Nature Explore Classroom in Kansas.
Located at 2258 N. Lakeway Circle in Wichita, KS, this amazing classroom was able to incorporate a nice grassy area next to their building with natural beauty and existing trees to plan their space.
Rainbows United wanted to provide a place where children could make nature-oriented memories that would shape their future in a positive way. This classroom is the first one of their Locations to receive the designation of Certified Nature Explore Classroom. Generous donations and volunteers made this outdoor classroom possible. Dozens of volunteers from many organizations helped dig, plant, haul and lay materials for the site.
Research based and field tested centers for learning enable children to have unrestricted play while developing an array of skills while they investigate nature. Many trees, bushes, plants, small logs and dead trees are used for entrance locators as well as setting boundaries between areas.
Sunflowers and willows, native to Kansas, were used in the design of the classroom. A garden with gourds, pumpkins and Indian corn was planted in the spring and then used in the classroom during the fall celebrations. A special tee-pee was made from small donated limbs.
Stones for paths as well as those used in the different areas were placed at ground level for minimum maintenance and a natural weed barrier made of recycled newspaper was incorporated into the gardens. Pieces of bark were made into signs to designate each of the separate areas and placed on posts of harvested trees.
Daily opportunities exist at Rainbows United's Kids Cove to know and appreciate the outdoors. From planting flowers to attract butterflies or digging holes to plant a tree, these children engage in simple pleasures that will help them to learn to love the natural world at a very young age.