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The Natural Outdoors: Bringing Nature’s Winter Beauty Inside

At Richland, engaging with the natural world is intrinsic to the learning experiences our students have. “The number and kinds of ‘variables’ outdoors are endless. Nature offers children not just physical room to play, but mental and emotional room as well. The natural world offers room to run, irresistible opportunities to explore and imaginative play to come to life.” (Rachel Grob, The Wisdom of Nature.)

Here is an example of how one of our Prek children has been inspired by the outdoors, and is channeling his enthusiasm creatively through the Epson board in the classroom. “The pen is like magic. My snowman is sledding with his family” (Tate)
Imagination, creativity, and science are at the heart of children’s natural play, as the pleasure of finding things out and of imagining what might be, is part of being human and a major purpose of childhood. Natural Play “seeks to feed children’s curiosity, fascination, wonder, awe, and to provide satisfaction of their deep drive to learn and make meaning.”
As adults we often forget to marvel at the beauty of the natural world. We would like to leave you with this thought: “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together.” (Verna M. Kelly)


  • “I made a pattern on the light table. It was so so much fun.” (Leo)
    “The snowflakes sparkle.” (Juliana)

  • “My snowman likes to go sledding. He brought some fish to have has pets.” (Tate)
    “The penguin skate on the ice in the Arctic.” (Mason)
    “They love to play in the snow.” (Isabelle)

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