We are starting to get a hint of spring around here. The sun has been shining for the past couple of days. It is clear that even though we woke up to a couple of inches of fresh snow this morning- spring could really be on the way!
|Rediscovering the Mud Pie Kitchen|
In addition to discovering all of our spaces that have been hidden under the snow for months- we have started to assess what needs to be repaired, reworked, and make plans for new components in our outdoor classroom.
One of the things we started (and I what I mean by started is- we bought the trees) last fall is our movable forest. A movable forest? Yes- a movable forest. Last year at the U.P. Early Childhood Conference I had the opportunity to meet and hear Rusty Keeler speak. (If you are not familiar with Rusty's work, I encourage you to hop on over to his website and check it out!) Rusty does a lot of work with natural playspaces and he reminded - me that young children have a very different perspective. They do not need huge tall trees to have a forest- planting dwarf trees and shrubs would suffice as a forest!
So, when the trees were marked down last fall- I started our soon to be movable forest. At a couple of dollars per tree, I thought- why not? Rather than planting the trees in the ground, I found a couple of pots and our forest will remain a movable creation that the children can manipulate. I know that eventually- the pots will need to be bigger and the weight will be too much for any one child to manage on their own. However, that will be the perfect opportunity for team work and encourage social skills.
For now, our trees are quite small, and make the perfect mini forest! We haven't had them in the play area for long, but the children are already moving them around as they see fit.
As the weather continues to get warmer and the snow continues to melt- stay tuned! I am so EXCITED about our plans for the outdoor classroom this year :).