Spring is Finally Here!

There’s no place like our playground in the spring! The children are so excited to finally be able to go outside WITHOUT COATS ON! We are outside almost every day during the winter, so being able to skip that step when the weather warms up is a big deal for them. And, for the teachers, too, if we’re being honest! πŸ™‚

The birds are active, and, if we’re lucky, we can see nests being built and chicks being raised. The lizards wake up from their winter hibernation and can be spotted sunning themselves on the rocks in our gardens. A few years ago we even had a fawn spend some time right outside our playground gate while mom was just out of sight! The daffodils emerge and life and color returns to our beautiful play space here in Reston! We even had a visit from the Easter Bunny this year!

We will return to tending to our gardens right after Spring Break. The children will work on the classroom garden beds once a week, clearing out dead leaves, planting new flowers, taking care of the animals that visit our playground with fresh water and food, and topping it all off with a fresh layer of mulch. You can read more about our gardening program here.

What’s your family’s favorite springtime activity? Do you enjoy spending time in the garden?

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Where the Love of Nature meets the Love of Learning

We love the outdoors and teaching the children all about nature throughout our curriculum and our environment. Our efforts to help children learn to love nature began with our gardening, hiking, and certified Schoolyard Habitat.  Over the past few years, we’ve thoughtfully created an outdoor environment where children can discover, relax, and learn through their interactions with the natural playscape features on our playground.

We have created spaces for the children to explore, dig, build, climb, be quiet and peaceful, and also care for the area where they play. The children love our playground. The benefits of natural spaces for play are numerous, including:

  • Children use their imagination more during play.
  • Children are more active during play when there are natural spaces to explore.
  • Because of the activities they choose to engage in, they tend to work on their fine motor skills during play in addition to the gross motor skills used on play equipment.

Weather-permitting, the children spend lots of time outdoors every day! We go outside before and after lunch and again in the later afternoon for the children who stay for our full-day program. When it snows, we put on snow gear and head outside, and when it’s raining, we’ve been known to get outdoors for a quick run through the drizzle to burn off some energy and get some fresh air!

We understand the importance of time outside, engaging with nature β€” it is something that we take seriously and have a lot of fun with!