Outdoor Exploring Place
Outdoor exploration is a wonderful way to promote children’s learning and appreciation for the natural world. Being outside in nature boasts a wide varitey of benefits. When given the opportunity to explore and play within nature, we are not only allowing children to connect with the Earth, but studies show that outdoor education supports creativity and problem solving, boosts cognitive abiltiies, increases physical activity and promotes love and stewardship of our world.
KUM currently has four areas for nature exploration- The Children’s Garden, two Missouri Native gardens, and the Exploring Place which includes vegetable beds, water play, a digging area and a meeting area.
Outdoor activities include free exploration and play in nature where children can run, roll, climb, dig, and even relax. The children also have the opportunity to investigate plants, insects and animals in their natural habitats and participate in gardening experiences such as planting, weeding, watering, composting, and harvesting. While children are outside, they are also becoming aware of nature’s patterns such as the seasons, weather, plant and animal life cycles.
LITZINGER ROAD ECOLOGY CENTER
Some classes participate in a collaborative nature study with the Litzinger Road Ecology Center. Children visit the center and explore the native prairies, woodlands, and creek bed through guided tours. Volunteers from LREC have been an integral part in the development of natural green spaces at KUM Preschool.