St. Mary’s Episcopal School

Reflects the joy of learning and growth in the love of God, family and friends.

Outdoor Classroom and Playgrounds

Current research validates the importance of connecting children with nature on a daily basis.

We provide hands-on learning experiences and opportunities for the children to explore, investigate, think, and play creatively while moving actively in our wonderful outdoor spaces.

Our outdoor classroom environment includes two playgrounds, a raised bed garden and a nature trail. One playground is home to our music garden, where children can create and experience music in a natural setting. Our back playground includes a mud kitchen with wonderful opportunities for children to pretend to be chefs, bakers, waiters, or just moms and dads in the kitchen! Our raised garden next to our school building allows the children a chance to learn from planting and watching things grow.  Its proximity to the building provides many daily teachable moments. Bird feeders outside of classroom windows provide an additional way for our children to observe and care for nature.

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Our nature trail provides unique opportunities to experience the change of seasons, discover what is under a rock or log, listen to the sounds of nature, explore animal footprints, go on a nature hunt and participate in a variety of discovery activities.

Children who play outside regularly become fitter and leaner, develop a stronger immune system, have lower stress levels, have more active imaginations, play more creatively, are happier, have a greater respect for themselves and others and learn and cultivate environmental awareness and values.

The outdoor classroom provides opportunities for children to develop problem solving skills,  experience dramatic play, experience music and dance, build their knowledge of mathematical concepts,  build and create with materials in the natural world, develop fine motor and large motor skills, develop oral communication skills and vocabulary, compare and categorize, collect and analyze data, explore using the five senses, and explore and experiment with scientific phenomena.

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