Connecting to the Natural World
There is something about connecting to the natural world that is so important to all human beings — particularly children. Our outdoor classrooms provide vast spaces that will awaken children’s senses and interest them throughout the seasons, allowing them to be a part of nature, in a beautiful and stimulating environment.
Our playgrounds include child-sized trees and shrubs and contains places in which to hide and explore; spaces where small children feel safe and where they can play the kind of imaginative games that are so important in their development.
Physical exercise and fresh air are important for each child’s health and well-being. We take the children outdoors every day, in all kinds of weather, so they can run, jump, swing, climb, and use all of the large muscles in their body. They run around, breathe in the fresh air, feel the wind, or catch a ball or a bug. They lie on the ground and watch the birds, or they climb high and look down.
To support our healthy menus, our organic gardens allow a hands-on farm to table experience for the children. From sprouting seedlings in the classroom to the late summer harvesting, the children fully participate with their own eyes and hands. Our children enjoy snacking right from the garden and take pride when they see the fruit and vegetables, lovingly prepared by our kitchen, on their plates. Completing the cycle, the children even become mini experts on what can or can not be put into our compost bins!
Trust in exploration
As young children grow and develop so does their innate desire to explore their surroundings. What seems like an occasional daring feat is in reality an attempt at exercising their newly found physical and cognitive abilities.
It is quite common today that, with the best intentions, parents and caregivers tend to hover over young children with the goal of protecting them from harm. Adults often prohibit a child’s ability to decide what their own bodies and minds may accomplish at any given time. One of our greatest challenges as caregivers is to provide for risk taking while still keeping kids safe.
At Alphabet Academy we believe that risk taking is a very underrated part of childhood development. We recognize that these risks should be attempted within the security of a family setting or a quality childcare program (or early learning program). By taking risks, your children learn to gauge safety and develop judgement skills that will prepare them for adolescence.