Nature education at MINE, ME & US Montessori School is simply allowing children to interact with the natural environment in a safe and respectful way.
The outdoor environment is essential to Montessori Education and Curriculum and is considered as an extension of the indoor classroom environment. Our backyard is complete with an edible landscape of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. Typical playground equipment is replaced with a natural landscape including a large grassy area and a large sand area woven in between paths and low level natural inclines. Typical sand toys are replaced with kitchen materials such as cupcake tins, mixing bowls, colanders, etc. made from natural materials. The outdoor environment includes brooms, hand brooms, and dustpans.
In the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, they enjoy planting, harvesting, and eating fruits and vegetables from the garden. Our backyard is full of nature and natural items for the children to explore for creative and imaginative play, impromptu science lessons, and social games. The children explore leaves, pinecones and pine needles, branches and sticks, bugs and plants. Often groups of children will build a lean-to structure with big branches. They will play in the mud, digging with sticks. They climb trees and swing from branches.
Outdoor time is an essential component of the Montessori Philosophy and Method and the MINE/MMUMS curriculum, even for infants. Children will be outside for a large portion of each day. Even in inclement weather, the children will go outside- even if for only 15 minutes at a time. Be sure that your child is dressed properly for the weather. We ask that your child has appropriate clothing for ALL types of weather-raincoats and boots, snow pants, snow boots, hats, coats, mittens, etc. A child that is not well enough to play outside should not come to school.