Welcome to KT Rocks!
At Katrina Trask Nursery School outdoor learning and exploring is not an added luxury if time permits, it is an important part of our approach to learning.
Our school is fortunate to have a beautiful outdoor space that we are able to use, weather permitting, each day. While it looks like a fun playground to most, we know it is really an extension of our classroom which we use to enhance learning and development. In our outdoor classroom we are able to practice many preschool skills and extend our thematic learning in a new setting. The possibilities are endless when it comes to play, but below are a few examples of the learning you will see in our outdoor classroom.
Social skills are put to use as we play group games, find a friend to play with, share toys and take turns, and explore imaginary play. Friends might be learning to ask another friend to join a game or may be working on organizing a group game of soccer. We are always riding the train to new and exciting destinations with each friend contributing to the journey.
Gross motor skills are put to the test as we navigate the playground equipment and teacher-led adventures. Children slide, swing, ride, and climb. Child-sized rakes, shovels, and sleds allow us to keep moving no matter what season it is. Our outdoor classroom makes a great setting for our Circus Day activities. Walking the tight rope balance beam, target throwing for the Clown Knock Down, and flexing our muscles to be the Strong Person are all a great way to get moving outside.
Mathematics is practiced as we count how many big bullfrog hops it takes to get from one tree to another tree and then to compare that to how many tip-toe tiny toad hops it takes to make the same trip. We are practicing sorting as we pretend to be animals and race to our appropriate habitats. We are even learning basic division as we split up sandbox tools into equal groups so that all of our friends can share in the fun.
Language Arts skills are evident even though there are not typically books on our playground. Children are practicing pre-writing skills through their drawings with chalk and letter stamping in the sandbox. We are listening and speaking to one another and following directions. We are sequencing stories as we create our own version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and search for leprechauns. A game of catch can also be a challenge to sing the alphabet without dropping the ball.
Magnifying glasses allow us to be real scientists as we investigate the plants, bugs, and footprints on our playground. Planting seeds and making bird feeders also help us connect with nature.
There is no limit to what children can discover when they are encouraged to learn through play. Our outdoor classroom allows children to make real life connections to what they are learning and instills a lifetime love of learning in them.