Our Outdoor Classroom
At Green Gate, children spend lots of time digging, collecting natural materials, jumping in puddles, and making mud pies. They help care for animals, water and tend our vegetable gardens, and experience the joy of watching food grow from seed to harvest.
These experiences are important because research has shown children benefit from regular outdoor play experiences in nature. Time outdoors stimulates creativity, boosts problem solving and cognitive skills, provides a multitude of sensory experiences and opportunities for social/emotional growth, builds strong coordinated bodies, and fosters curiosity and a sense of awe and wonder about the natural world. Young children who spend ample time exploring the natural world develop a connection to and love of nature that continues into adulthood.
Our new location is situated on 2 1/2 acres of land where we will have even more room to create and expand our natural play areas! We look forward to working with the children to re-establish our wildlife areas, gardens, and natural habitats. We are currently working toward certifying our outdoor space as a Nature Explore Classroom. Nature Explore is a collaborative effort between the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation whose mission is to help children and families connect with the natural world, where nature is an integral part of children's daily learning.
Certified Wildlife Habitat
Our program is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Habitat. This means our outdoor environment provides local birds and wildlife with food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their young.
We watch dozens of beautiful birds, squirrels, geese, ducks, frogs, bunnies, and turtles! Wildlife LOVE our play yard! This provides lots of opportunities to observe animals all year round.
Our wood pile provides safe hiding places for wildlife to take shelter and raise their young, and our bird baths provide a steady supply of water all year long. We also have bird feeders that the children help fill throughout the year.