When I started my journey with Mother Goose Time years ago, I was inspired by the many different subjects and themes they were able to include in the curriculum every month. I began to search for ways to include nature within the classroom and I love that every month I am able to find a couple of different activities that involve embracing nature. When I say embracing nature, I mean we are learning to pay attention to the outdoors, to the changing weather, the colors that shift during the different seasons and we pay attention to the different environments we may or may not have lived in.
Yoga, is one of the ways that I have tried to help children embrace nature. Because we do yoga outside under the trees before lunch time. It is a fabulous way for us to relax and calm down after recess and to listen to the many sounds that are made in nature. I use two books by Mariam Gates for Yoga. The one I am using currently is posted below:
At the end of the yoga session we take the time to take a deep breath and relax. It is so important for the children to take their time and to just be. I find that they eat better, lunch runs much smoother and it is easier to get them to lay down.
From Mother Goose Time, I have found that the activity this month that encouraged the children's nature connection has been the knowledge that the last week of the month we would be learning about Animal Homes. They are very excited about learning where the animals live and have attempted to find the homes of bugs and various other local wild life when we have gone outside for recess. Building nests has been a fun part of the preschool day. This activity didn't require anything besides the children finding the materials outside during recess. Finding the materials turned into a game we could play by making it a race.
Nature walks are also a very fun part of the day. Nature walks involve us searching outside for things we have talked about in the classroom. This often leads to stopping at various times to watch ants crawl on the sidewalk or finding animals we may not see during other parts of the year.
Taking children outside to explore the things they have learned outside and doing things like yoga and building nests are important to the classroom experience. They need to see and feel what we are talking about. Connecting what we learn inside to the outside helps them learn that the world is more than what they see in pictures. The world is much bigger than a classroom and we can learn and explore anywhere.
Live Long and Keep Teaching