Pre-School Playground At Key School Earns National Certification As Nature Explore Classroom

| December 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

The playground for Key School’s youngest students has been officially certified by a national organization that promotes effective outdoor learning environments for children.

Key School’s Pre-School playground, renovated in summer 2010, earned certification as a Nature Explore Classroom. Nature Explore is a collaborative program of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation that advocates for the development of outdoor classrooms nationwide. The outdoor classrooms are designed according to educational research and principles that call for incorporating nature into student lessons.

According to Nature Explore’s announcement about Key School, “In a certified Nature Explore Classroom, children can create visual masterpieces in a nature art area, build with natural materials, climb on natural structures, and practice their balance, agility, and creativity in areas designed for music and movement.”

Key’s playground has ten stations, including a Nature Art area, a Messy Materials area, a Building area, a Music area, and more, in keeping with the certification requirements for the program. Upper School students and Key School parents worked on the construction of the playground, completing a significant amount of work on Earth Day 2010.

“The creation of this environment has been a labor of love in the Key School community,” said Key School’s Pre-School head Susan Rosendahl. “We can all be proud of this accomplishment.”

With its certification in the program, Key School becomes part of a network of schools that allows educators to share ideas and support one another in developing curriculums that allow children to thrive outside.

The Key School has taken an important leadership role in a profoundly needed initiative to connect young children with nature, setting a wonderful example for educations centers across the country,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore outreach director for the Arbor Day Foundation.

Click here to see photos.

Source: Key School

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