Outdoor Classroom

Natural environments provide "a richness and level of complexity that is impossible to duplicate." Opportunities for manipulation and exploration are built in. Outdoor environments often afford a larger degree of freedom for child-initiated activity and a smaller degree of adult control.

North Star Academy is following the research of Nature Explore, a collaborative program of The Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation to help children and families develop a profound engagement with the natural world, where nature is an integral, joyful part of children's daily learning.

Nature Explore Learning Areas

Messy Materials
Children have the ultimate imaginative experience playing with a variety of loose materials. They feel a sense of accomplishment once they have manipulated sometimes heavy and obscure objects into their very own structure.
Building
Children build more freely with natural products or blocks without space or noise limitations while improving mathematical, visual-spacial, and abstract thinking.
Nature Art
Children tangibly experience the beauty of the natural world by creating their own works of art with natural products all while improving classifying and observation skills.
Dirt Digging
We embrace the in-born impulse of children to play in the dirt. From potted plants to mud pies children have open ended experiences digging in the dirt.
Music & Movement
In the outdoor music and movement area, children can learn about sound, pitch, rhythm, and tonality. Children can experiment with ways to make music with natural materials, and respond with creative dance.
Climbing
Both the climbing structure and our natural climbing elements allow children to improve body competence, inspire creativity, alleviate stress, and improve concentration.
Garden
Children are included in the entire process of preparing, planting, caring for, and harvesting fruits and vegetables in our edible garden. Each new discovery builds their sense of wonder about the world God created.
Water
Playing with water can come in many forms and offers open ended opportunities for learning cause and effect, math and science skills, and much more.