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Outdoor Classroom Coordinator

by an interview by Rusty Keeler with Sharon Young
January/February 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/outdoor-classroom-coordinator/5019134/

We all love the idea of children playing outdoors. Outside, children get to experience the seasons, challenge their minds and bodies, connect with the natural world, and form a special relationship with the planet. Studies are now reinforcing our beliefs in the positive effects of nature on children and a natural play movement (revolution) is well under way! But in order for children to get the most of their outdoor time it is important that the environment be prepared by caring adults with the children's experiences in mind.

Teachers prepare the indoor classroom each day for children's play and learning ó water tables, art materials, science areas, long-term projects, snacks. The outdoors should be no different: Teachers can plan outdoor activities and set out materials for the children to explore and experiment with, such as art materials, building materials, gardening tools, construction elements, and more. A richly prepared outdoor environment makes all the difference for children's experiences.

While many teachers love setting up the outside environment and seeing children engaged in the activities, it can mean a lot of extra work on top of their already full schedule. Isn't there someone else who can help? Someone who can take charge ...

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