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kindiesarefun kindiesarefun is offline
 
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Outdoor program
Old 02-06-2019, 09:05 PM
 
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Hi, Kindergarten teachers!
Does anyone do an outdoor program with their students? In my school we take the kindergartners to a nearby forest every other Friday for a day of exploration and play. We cover science concepts and also allow the children ample free play time to develop creativity, problem solving, fine and gross motor skills, language skills, healthy risk taking, etc.
I was just wondering if anyone else has tried such a program in a public school and how they deal with the occasional complaints from parents about cuts and scrapes, muddy clothing, cold weather....
Would love to hear any thoughts!


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Old 02-07-2019, 04:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Does anyone do an outdoor program with their students? In my school we take the kindergartners to a nearby forest every other Friday for a day of exploration and play. We cover science concepts and also allow the children ample free play time to develop creativity, problem solving, fine and gross motor skills, language skills, healthy risk taking, etc.




Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing! I would love to have something like this, but we do not. As for complaints, could you find some of the many, many research articles showing why this kind of play is not only developmentally appropriate, but so very beneficial for kids? Yes, even the getting dirty and the cuts/scrapes (which come from running, climbing, crawling, etc that kids this age need!
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:18 AM
 
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I take my class to a nearby canyon 5 times a year. We do seasonal observations (4x) and the other time we team up with a 2nd grade class and pick up garbage for Earth Day.

I'd love to do more, but...I just don't have the time. I've never ever not once had a single complaint from families, so no advice on how to handle it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:16 PM
 
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It really is amazing--I love seeing the kids outside just exploring and getting dirty! Honestly most parents love the program and see the value in it. We are working to compile a collection of research articles to convince the worriers and helicopters. You are right, there is tons of research out there!
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:46 PM
 
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Wow--that sounds amazing! That's great that your parents are so supportive of the outdoor experience. 95% of our parents are, too. Just a few hold-outs! Luckily our admin loves the program.


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Old 02-07-2019, 07:08 PM
 
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It's the collaboration, cooperation, brainstorming, and problem solving that I love so much.
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Old 02-07-2019, 07:54 PM
 
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I would LOVE to do that! It's so wonderful that you do!!



We go to a nearby park 7-8 times over the course of the year. We adopt a tree for part of our science curriculum and do a bunch of science lessons, and a couple of art projects, around it. I am the only teacher that goes that often and stays all day. Everyone else goes for an hour or two 4 or 5 times per year. I'm also the only one that allows my kids total access to the rocks, dry creek bed, trees, etc. Everyone else does designated play times at each place. I just don't understand!


I got the most awesome video during our last trip. Half of my class was trying to move a huge log across the creek. They were all working together and singing this song they made up. It was incredible!


I'm really hoping there is water in the creek for our next trip! I want to bring materials so they can build boats. Again, I'm the only one that wants to let them play in the water!
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:11 PM
 
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Oh, yes, let them play in the creek! We have a creek at our site and there is so much learning to be had just playing in the water...what floats and sinks, why does the water flow in one direction, how much water will a container hold...some children just climb onto a rock and jump into the creek (ankle deep) over and over again. They are seeking sensory input that they don't get from sitting at a desk or interacting with a screen.
Like yours, mine work together to move large logs, build dams and forts, make pretend campfires. I bring a few spoons and bowls and we have a "mud kitchen" which the children play in for hours. The level of creativity and language usage is amazing. Our next trip is tomorrow and I can't wait to see what they do!
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Just amazing!
Old 02-09-2019, 09:49 PM
 
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I'm retired K teacher and would have loved that program.
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