It Not "Just Recess" Anymore!

Teachers often heave a sigh of relief when they take their students out to recess. Finally! The children can burn off the pent up energy they had been accruing for the past few hours indoors. But what if we change our outlook on outdoor play time? What if we create an outdoor environment that offered all of the learning opportunities that one would typically find indoors? What if children could run out to a well-planned play yard to find experiences in math, science, nature, dramatic play, water, building and construction, sensory activities, physical development, art and music? What if they play yard developed critical thinking, discovery, problem solving, and cooperative skills? The result would be that we wouldn't have "just recess" anymore. We would have The Outdoor Classroom!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Swamp Sensory Bin

I have been eyeing Tom's "Swamp" sensory event at Sand & Water Tables for some time. If you haven't visited Tom's site, it is well worth a look-see. His sensory tables are phenomenal!

I finally put in the effort to create a similar table on our patio area. I used a 3 separate sensory/water tables for this project to add depth, dimension and varying levels. I added swamp creatures, sand, leaves, and various other natural items to the bins. I also used bamboo garden poles for the bugs to "crawl" on. Each day, I add water to the swamp for added sensory fun. It is a bit of a mess, so the event will probably move to the yard next week, but it has drawn a lot of attention thus far!

Here is what I came up with...

Catching creatures in bug containers filled with swamp water.


  1. I love how you connected the bins with those poles. So smart and a great way to add some creative play to the sensory bins.
    Great post!
    Thanks for linking this one up to the outdoor play party.

  2. Thanks for the mention. Sticks, stones, water, critters and implements are all the children need to fuel their imaginations. Nice work! Tom

  3. That is so much fun!! What kid doesnot love this, I know mine will :)