We feel that nature and our environment are essential to learning. We visit the Oakmont School playground to give the children opportunities to play and explore. Also, we will take trips to local parks to hike on trails, dig in the soil, and learn from what we find. Our program incorporates the importance of sustainability and recycling to help foster an appreciation for our world.
Our learning process is not defined by our classroom walls. Children can bring new life to a variety of materials, including natural elements found while we play outside. By allowing children to use materials without preconceived or predetermined outcomes we encourage children to flex their creative muscles. Collecting sticks quickly turns into an experiment to see if we can make words. Collecting "spikey balls" (aka the seeds of the sweet gum tree) to roll down the slide or to create a campfire. We encourage the children to enjoy nature inside the classroom as well.
Rain or Shine
Being outside is a core value for the program. “Nice weather” is a relative term, and we choose to be very liberal with our definition. We choose to say playable weather. Our classroom approach is always be prepared to go outside. Rain boots and snow gear are a must for us! Being outside everyday allows children to experience play in its natural form. They can experiment, discover, problem solve, negotiate turns, practice social rules, and create. Plus they have a lot of FUN.
Our ever growing and changing nature table boasts bird nests, abandon paper wasp nest, sticks and rocks of all shapes and sizes, and so much more.
We value that the children understand the nature is all around them. We often use our community days to meet up at local spots to offer children an opportunity to experience nature in a way the we can not offer at school. These outings include Sugartown Strawberries, Riverbend Education Center, Saunders Wood and Tyler Arborteum.
Our Community Garden
Each year the garden is explored by the children. They are involved in every aspect of the garden from picking the seeds, planning out the space, weeding, and the most fun of all harvesting! We incorporate seasonal vegetables into our classroom snack whenever possible. Spinach, kale, carrots, beets, radish, are just some past successes.
We have two classroom residents at the moment. Milo and Herbert came to us as pet adoptions from families who wanted to see their pets loved and enjoyed by the Clubhouse community. Herbert is an ornate box turtle that enjoys lettuce, slow walks around his habitat, and taking the occasional dip in his watering bowl. He loves strawberries and blackberries as a special treat. Milo is around 3 years old and quite large as rabbits go. He is litter trained which allows him the freedom to be out of his cage during the day. He loves hiding under things, chewing on cardboard and dried banana chips.
Composting: worms & container
Our vertical worm bin is thriving and actively making compost for our garden and plants. Started several years ago, the worm bin is a quiet addition to our room that is always busy. The worms breakdown our left over scrapes from snack- making sure we keep the balance just right so they are not too busy or overwhelmed but have just enough food to chew through. They love pretty much everything we give them.
"It's so important to us that the values held by our daughters' preschool are an extension of the values we teach at home. Creative Clubhouse embodies the things that matter most to us in a preschool: learning through play, exploring the world through a variety of art and sensory experiences, and nurturing our children's natural curiosity and wonder of nature. In a time when it feels as though many children are loosing their connection to plants, insects, puddles & mud pies, we love knowing that our daughters have been given abundant opportunities to explore these things during their time at Creative Clubhouse!" -current Clubhouse parent