How can you bring nature to your preschool classroom



Most of the parents and teachers would agree that nowadays kids prefer sitting on a couch in front of a screen rather than being outside and explore nature. But everybody has to understand that if you want your children to build a relationship with nature, you should provide them with enough opportunities to explore nature from a very young age. The starting point for getting children more in touch with nature is to bring nature into their classroom. Easily available and inexpensive natural materials can stand in for common early childhood manipulatives and art materials.

Though, bringing nature into the preschool classroom might be a challenge, Childcare Covina, CA teachers should think about how to replicate the successful classroom activities using natural materials. For instance, marble painting, very common preschool art activity. In this activity, children place a sheet of paper on a rimmed tray and then gently put a paint Laden marble ball to roll around the paper within the tray. To bring in a natural element, you can replace the marbles with acorns. Using natural elements in the classroom will help children instantly make a connection with nature. Parents and teachers can refer to the following ideas where different natural manipulatives can be used.

Using natural art materials:

Playing memory games enable children to have the mental aptitude to process information, make decisions, create new ideas, ask questions, try to make sense of things and organize information. Memory games enhance children's ability to store and regain memories. Kids, whose visual memory has not developed properly, can be trained with various interactive memory games.

Natural manipulatives:

Math activities are quite easy to replicate using natural resources. Rock, shell and different types of flowers and leaves can be used as sorting, counting, and patterning materials. Students can go for a walk in the school garden and collect different materials that can be used for different activities. Here teachers should facilitate children to use their thinking skills about which materials to collect and which are not.

Nature on the light table:

The light table is another place where teachers can incorporate nature in the classroom setting. Light tables are mostly used to do sand or salt art. You can use letter and number stencils for tracing them on the light table. This way in Childcare Covina, CA, the teacher turns the art activity to math or literacy learning activity.

Using natural materials in imaginary play:

Natural objects can be used as props in their imaginary play. For example, small logs make campfires or homes for stuffed animals and dolls. Skinny bamboo rods with crumpled white paper become perfect marshmallow roasters.
Though there are are some companies that sell tree blocks and tree cookies specifically designed for preschool use, scavenged items are more helpful in addressing the objective.