The outdoor classroom

This is where children are free to explore and discover the delights of botany, science, geology and biology. They are surrounded by nature and are content to choose work in the garden, composting, planting, watering and harvesting; this is where they see the life cycle in action.
Children directly experience the weather and the cyclical patterns of nature. Indoors materials can also be brought outside. Literacy and numeracy are a natural part of the outdoors and often being in this environment for some children is where quantity and patterns, speech and dicussion can spark an interest of the skills that are more often associated with the indoors.

At this age children are still mastering control over their developing body. Gross motor skills like running, walking, swinging, hopping, skipping are all important works. The children are given opportunity to sweep, rake, build and move larger objects – as all requires the skills of large body movement.

Sensorial and tactile experiences are also important so exposure to sand, mud, water, clay and other oportunities to hear, feel, smell and taste (garden produce) different textures are all essential for the developing brain.

There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature. It is also necessary for his physical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.

Maria Montessori