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!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ice, Ice, Baby!

 A while back, we set up a "science lab" in the outdoor classroom. Various shades of colored water filled bins upon bins in our dramatic play area. The children donned goggles and lab coats and set to work mixing the brilliant colors in beakers, funnels, measures, cups, basters, and more. 

To change it up a bit, we decided to add several bins of ice each morning. We squirted a few drops of liquid water color (purchased from Discount School Supply) and the children went to work. 

We were only planning to set out this activity for a week or so because of the sheer quantity of ice we needed to bring in, but the children enjoyed it so much that we wound up hauling ice for nearly a month!