Fall Outdoor Classroom

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Fall Outdoor Classroom

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What a beautiful time of year to be outside!  I have been using our outdoor space as much as possible recently, and I set up some centres for all of our kindergarten classes to use.  Most of the centres could be done anywhere, from your back yard to a neighbourhood park.  I feel that the important thing is just get outside and enjoy being outside – especially with kids.  Below are the centres that I set up and a brief description.  There is so much you can do!

I like to try to include at least one science based centre whenever we go outside.  Since we have been learning about pumpkins, I put some pumpkin seeds, pumpkin goo, a few gems, felt leaves and some water into a baggie and then froze the mixture.  I then put it in a tin pan with popsicle sticks for picking at and magnifying glasses for inspecting.

outdoor classroom

We have a plexi glass easel that the kids love to paint on.  Today I made some leaf stamps for them to use.  I glued a wooden cube to the back to help keep their hands from becoming covered in paint (it only somewhat helped.)

outdoor classroom

I put out a few different colours of paint and students painted the felt stamps and then pressed them to the plexi glass.

outdoor classroom

A few weeks ago, I did a fall sensory walk with students that ended up being the most popular centre.  I used the same idea again today, but I added a few more.  Bare foot, students walked through dry corn, dry mini leaves, pine cones, pebbles, leaves, sand, and then I added a bin of water beads.  This was such a great sensory activity and again today students wanted to go through the walk again and again.

outdoor classroom

We have a beautiful structure that I am always trying to come up with new ways of using it.  Today I kept it simple, but it I like the idea.  I tightly wrapped yarn around it and then encouraged students to slip leaves between the pieces of yarn to create a wall of leaves.  It wasn’t the most popular centre, but there were always a few students that were drawn to it.

outdoor classroom

outdoor classroom

Finally, I set up an invitation to create.  Since I do several story plays with students, I wanted to give them the chance to handle the props and create a setting of their own.  Today, I put a sheet of fabric down and then set out various prop items. A few items I set up, but I left most in containers for kids to take out and place where ever they wanted.  I always love to see what they come up with!  (I did this at home with my own kids to give them the opportunity to create too.)

outdoor classroom

We had a great day outside and lots of smiles, play and learning happened!

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