Nature Explore Classroom
Nature Explore Classroom

Entrance to Nature Explore ClassroomThe Shaw Nature Reserve opened its Nature Explore Classroom on March 29, 2008. This engaging outdoor creative area is the product of a collaborative effort with the National Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. Developed as a response to the growing disconnect between children and nature, Nature Explore Classrooms feature outdoor “rooms” where young children can manipulate natural materials in creative and unstructured play. 

Nature Explore Classroom “Rooms”

Kids design with pine conesIn the Nature Art Area, children use materials from nature to create patterns and designs. The materials might include plant parts, seed pods, shells or bones!
Boy builds and balances using pieces of woodBuild a towering structure or an entire city out of blocks made from local trees in the Build It Area. Children strengthen their visual-spacial, mathematical and abstract thinking skills while working with these wood blocks and other shapes from nature.
Kids pose on a crawl-through logThe Climbing and Crawling Area features crawl-through logs and climbing steps.
Boys make music on a wooden marimbaPlay along with the symphony of nature…the croaking frogs, buzzing bees and singing birds…in the Music and Movement Area. Dance like a butterfly on the nearby stage as children play a tune on the marimba and other instruments made from natural objects.
Girls walk along a balance beamTest your balance as you move from the “stepping stone” logs to the balance beams in the Balance Area.
Children dig in sandBuild a city out of sand and rocks in one of two areas located in the Messy Materials Area. Or maybe constructing a fort out of bamboo is more to your liking! This area is for digging, crawling and exploring!