Nature Explore Classroom at Westminster Presbyterian Church Preschool
With the belief that children are active learners, Westminster Presbyterian Church Preschool is excited about all the hands-on experiences their Nature Explore Classroom is providing.
The Nature Explore Classroom is located in the courtyard of the Preschool, giving children access to the outdoors for much of the school day. The classroom allows children to use all of their senses to explore, experiment, solve problems and enjoy the wonders of the natural world. Children also enjoy new trees and edible plants, such as grape vines, apple trees, herbs and tomatoes. The garden area includes an inviting stepping stone path to encourage children to enter.
Activity areas at the Nature Explore Classroom feature an open space to encourage large-motor activities. In addition, there are separate areas for climbing/crawling, messy materials, building, nature art, music and movement, and a garden. The classroom also incorporates natural materials, including recently planted trees. Staff trimmed a few inside branches of a weeping mulberry tree to provide a "hide-a-way" and added a bench for a quiet spot inside the classroom. Willow baskets are used to display books and for gathering "treasures" for sorting. Tree stumps and natural wood were used to make furniture for the classroom.
Colors, fabrics and flowers help children keep order in the classroom and provide visually pleasing spaces in which children can learn and thrive.
The Nature Explore Classroom at the Westminster Presbyterian Church Preschool is the second to be constructed in California.