There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony, and the beauty in natureā€¦.

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori would agree with the movement to get kids outdoors considering she placed such a great emphasis on having children experience nature and nature education. Dr. Montessori felt that the Outdoor Environment should be an extension of the classroom. The Outdoor Environment teacher extends classroom lessons and student interests to the outdoors. Respect for each other is enhanced by group activities that require care for materials, cooperation with peers, and completion of tasks. Children have the opportunity to experience the outdoors with structure and purpose. Whether children are going on a nature walk, cultivating a garden, painting, cooking, building something, or studying outside simply to enjoy the fresh air, they are able to continue to build their knowledge based on the sensorial experiences of nature, art, and working with their hands and bodies. As a result, mental work and physical exercise are held in balance within these experiences.

Our Toddler, Primary, and Elementary I students are very fond of our Outdoor Environments. These programs allow the children to explore a world outside of their classrooms. We are fortunate to have such beautiful weather during the school year; our Outdoor Environments are open a great majority of the days. Each environment has an outdoor teacher who works closely with the lead teachers to provide a stimulating environment that extends the classroom outdoors. The Elementary II students do not have their own Outdoor Environment due to the fact that they spend a great deal of time outdoors with their project-based activities, field trips and going-outs.