Our future vision is to create various Green Schoolyard/Playscapes for each age group, that focus on learning while playing and interacting outside classroom walls. We aspire towards an outdoor classroom that reflects the lives and heritage of the families in this community, one that cultivates inclusion, sustainability, responsibility and self-growth extending from, observation, interaction and activation. When the outdoors is an extension to the learning and developing process, children can interact free from the stagnant and constraint walls of a classroom. According to DCF, III. Integrate social distancing strategies, and the CDC Recommendations in Social Distancingby utilizing the outdoors, children are able to socially distance, have fresh air movement, space to play, all while engaging in various stimuli. Even in our own history we developed Outdoor Education as a method to protect against pandemics! Many interesting findings have come from other countries where student curriculum focuses on unstructured learning and mostly outdoors for the formative years plus.The Finnish model has proven these children are benefitting from this play based environment at an early age, according to studies and statistics from Finland Education FactsFinish Statistics. By converting our current playgrounds, it is our hope to create a more natural playscape that supports natural learning, while challenging traditional teaching methods that rely on textbooks and tests instead of experiencing engaging activities.
By converting our current playgrounds, we would be able to offer more outdoor options and create a safer and more natural learning environment that will further continue our curriculum outdoors. The earlier we open these pathways, the easier it will be for individuals to benefit from these natural developmental connections. We know the ‘first five years’ are important for brain development, as many studies prove. We feel by offering more multisensory and safe participation, we can develop programs that encourage strong connections interacting within our environment, thus inspiring curiosity at an earlier age.