This post is written by Unnur Henrysdottir, a preschool colleague from Hafnarfjordur in Iceland who I was fortunate enough to connect with over 4 years ago and have subsequently visited on 2 occasions. She is an inspiring practitioner and has been so kind to give us a little glimpse into how she introduces her youngest pupils to the wider outdoor experience beyond the playground.
|Lesley ( from Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School) Unnur & myself in Reykjavik last October.|
Unnur writes: Here is a little inside into our trips with the youngest students in my class to the woods.This year my class has four different age groups and the youngest in the group are just two, so even though the walk to our woods is not that long it can be little difficult for short feet fully clothed in thick winter overalls.My motto is to go and explore, have fun and maybe come back with some stones or sticks if we are lucky. With the younger children, rather than go on the same day every week we go when the weather is decent. The older group goes every Tuesday, good weather or not. In the big woods were we take the older children to, it's full of places with trees to crawl between and places to get lost. So instead of going there and feeling like I would be stopping the younger ones from exploring what ever they want to I was lucky enough to find a more open space for us to practice.
There are still some trees to use, there is a mysterious house/cabin there with a door but no keyhole so how do we go about opening this mysterious door? And there is a big fish tank there full of gravel to play with. There is even a big trolley there to sit in and play with.
We always take our school trolley with us and in that we put things like drinks, snacks and few things to play with, like dices, magnifying glasses, a white cloth to write on or use to look at things we find and would like to explore better. It is always good when you can go out to play and explore and follow the children's curiosity.
I find that because we keep going to the same place, we find the children get confident in what they are going to do and are more capable of taking on new challenges which is what I like to see with my group.
Until next time best regards from us in Blásteinn Iceland
You can follow more of the adventures of this wonderful preschool here over on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stekkjarás-leikskóli-344648402319950/