Monday, April 4, 2011

Outdoor Classroom Discussion

The Outdoor Classroom workshop we held on Saturday April 2, 2011 was the first outdoor workshop held by CDCA. It was held at Kids International Child Care Center in Ellisville Mo. 25 participants came and participated in an outdoor classroom setting. We worked in created learning centers outdoors for over an hour. Here are some things that the groups included in their feedback reports. Please join me and others in continuing our discussion about using the outdoor classroom and learning through and from Nature! Here is a list of what participants said were new activities and Ideas that they learned about through the workshop.

1) Nature touchy feely box

2) Live insect boxes/containers

3) Windy day scarves use to mimic movement of trees, grasses

4) Using large and small tree cookies as percussion instruments

5) Making Grab and Go bags with instruments and props to use outdoors

6) Different uses for materials I already have in my center

7) Working with tree cookies cut in halves and fourths as fractions

9) Planning for outdoor experiences will lead to children spending more time outdoors

10) Using natural materials from the outdoors instead of plastic stuff

11) Including a bird watching station

12) Having Children sketch plants

13) Measuring things outside

14) The Tree activity (look,move,build and draw)

15) Creating an Outdoor Play policy

16) Using outdoor materials in art projects (like sticks) and do them outdoors

Again thanks to everyone who shared a new idea or activity they learned.  Click here to see what participants learned in this valuable workshop by going to our You Tube Channel. 

Look for more posts related to The Outdoor Classroom I hope that many of you were inspired and create all of those wonderful spaces and activites that you listed.

For others that may be reading this Join us on April 19 at CDCA from 630pm-830pm for The Outdoor Classroom Workshop.


  1. We discussed in the Outdoor Classroom that your playspaces should be as safe as they need to be not necessarily as safe as they can be. Obviously this still means you adhere to all regulatory standards but that you as the educator allow children to take risks. Allowing children to play and discover what their individual bodies can do enables them to develop at their own pace. The role of the educator is to make sure that appropriate supervision is maintained and at the same time embrace risk and challenge children with stimulating play experiences.

  2. Check out the videos of Participants at the April 2 workshop. What do you think of children playing with sticks?

  3. The weather was very cooperative and added to the atmosphere of the outdoor classroom idea. There are so many ideas that go through a teacher's mind when they see the endless possibilities when outside. Children can strengthen and develop so many skills while outside. Thank you Susan and CDCA for inspiring us and providing so many resources and ideas.

    Cindy Fernandez
    Kids International

  4. Thank you Cindy for your kind words. If you have any ideas on how to enhance our outdoor classroom workshop we are always creatung and improving. In June we'll have a birdwatching workshop! Jené CCR&R Director CDCA