I love the movement to get kids outdoors.
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There’s been a lot of talk about getting kids outdoors since the publication in 2005 of Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Richard Louv wrote about nature-deficit disorder where children are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, resulting in attention difficulties and other problems.
I love all the ideas for getting outdoors in Richard Louv’s book Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life.
Maria Montessori’s Views on Children and Nature
“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Maria Montessori “It is also necessary for his psychical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.” Maria Montessori Maria Montessori would agree with the movement to get kids outdoors. She placed a great emphasis on nature and nature education. Dr. Montessori also felt that the outdoor environment should be an extension of the classroom.
Resources on Natural Montessori Outdoor Environments
Montessori Print Shop has a helpful post on Natural Montessori Playgrounds with links to many resources and a Montessori Outdoor Environments Pinterest board. Natural Learning Initiative has Montessori Schools and the Designed Environment (academic papers) and Montessori Schools and the Designed Environment (impressive designs). Montessori on a Budget has a post with many suggestions for Creating a Montessori Garden Classroom.
Montessori-Inspired Outdoor Ideas for Home or School
While every school or homeschool can’t afford to hire a landscape architect to design a beautiful outdoor Montessori environment, there are a number of inexpensive changes you can make to your home or school outdoor environment. Work can often easily be brought outside – a wonderful idea this time of year, and more emphasis can be placed on activities like gardening and simply spending time in nature.
We were lucky to live in the country or where nature was nearby to make nature an important part of our homeschool: Exploring Nature and Growing Plants Outdoors without a Garden.
My kids also loved to read and do schoolwork outdoors.
Your child could work on activities for control of movement outdoors, such as Walking on the Line.
You could try an activity like Montessori Outdoors – Numbers and Counters.
Science activities, such as Montessori sinks and floats, are often great outdoors. (See related blog post: Land, Water, Air Activity from Montessori By Mom.)
Activities with rocks or natural items are wonderful outdoors, too. (See related blog post: Story Stones: Farm Animal Families Treasure Basket.)
If you have a child who enjoys tea parties, you’ll love our tea party picnic! It’s a fun way to get outdoors and encourage grace and courtesy at the same time! (See related blog post: How to Have a Healthy and Courteous Tea Party Picnic.)
Michael Olaf has ideas for slowing down to enjoy nature as well as bringing “intellectual” activities outdoors in Montessori from Birth to Three – A Superior Environment.
Discovery Days and Montessori Moments has some great examples of working outdoors: working outside, washing clothes outside, sorting animals outside, and outside prepared environment (photo). The Education of Ours has a post showing that providing natural items outdoors is what’s most important in an outdoor environment: Montessori, Taken Outside.
Ideas on Pinterest
Do you have favorite activities or environments to help your child and/or students get outdoors? 🙂
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