Our tamariki have recently embarked on a new investigation to form rich connections with our community: “In connecting with our bi-cultural identity, we enrich our ecological and sustainable journey.” During this investigation, we took opportunities to form connections and develop relationships with our natural world and its special treasures in the outdoor classroom.
To further enrich children’s’ knowledge and theories, we engaged in opportunities to explore our garden and the wider community, including the reserve behind our centre at Bear Park Mairangi Bay. Our tamariki were delighted to join us on these spontaneous trips to outdoors as they always reflect sensory-filled experiences.
The minute we walk through the gate at the reserve, we were greeted by the wind blowing onto our faces and through our hair. As we scanned the environment, the abundance of rolling hills and pine trees transformed our emotions leaving a feeling of curiosity, wonder and a desire to explore.
The children eagerly made their way down the grassy bank toward the fence line. Curious eyes searched for and observed the happenings beyond the wooden gate. Ducks, sometimes cows, and even tractors were in our line of sight. As teachers, we always admire the children’s observational skills where they always seem to find a tiny flower among the sea of grass or an intriguing looking pinecone to collect as treasure to share with our friends back in the Bear Park classroom.
Our outdoor spaces have so much to offer children. Our outdoor environment nurtures our tamariki’s curiosities, wonder, senses and social skills, while simultaneously encourages them to build reciprocal relationships of respect with our natural world.