Summer Program

Playground Layout/Design

The Outdoor areas are utilized throughout the year. However the Summer Program is designed to take advantage of the seasonally warmer temperatures here in New England. The curriculum focuses on exploration and discovery, gross motor and specific outdoor activities like gardening and water play.

Parents can enroll their child for the Summer Program which generally runs from June to September.

The main playground or ‘Outdoor Classroom’ was designed to resemble the school’s classrooms which incorporate various areas for development or learning centers. Children choose materials that are placed in particular locations throughout the day.

The Open Space

The Open Space is located in front of the school. This area features both shaded and sunny locations and a gazebo for staging games, readings, group gatherings and shows.

Children can enjoy that feeling of being in an unconfined area during water play in the summer, enjoying fall foliage or having fun in the winter snow.

The Nature Trail

The Nature Trail is a unique feature of the program. Walks on the Nature Trail provide children with the experience of being on a field trip.

Teachers periodically utilize the trail in planning activities and/or around weekly themes.

Summer Program Activities

Nature Trail

Wooden displays placed along the schools nature trail are used to introduce children to natural history. The nature trail features an observation platform abutting a wooded area on the school’s property. Children use collection boxes and capture nets to gather insects for classroom observations.

Gardening

The school garden in the natural area of the playground is maintained by the children and the teachers. Children experience the entire growing cycle from planting to harvest with vegetables, herbs and flowers. Children are introduced to recycling using the compost pile.

Bird Sanctuary

Children have opportunity to observe the wildlife that use the bird sanctuary area abutting the playgrounds nature area. This includes squirrels, woodpeckers, chipmunks and rabbits among others. Children help maintain the multi-level bird feeder and bird bath.

Butterfly House

Children participate in raising live caterpillars. Metamorphosis takes place in the classroom before the butterflies are released by the children in the school’s nature area.

Woodworking

A selection of carpentry tools is made available to the children for teacher supervised woodworking activities. Planned projects have included fabrication of wheel toys, bird houses and wood scrap sculptures.

Group Games

Cooperation, physical exercise and following rules are
some of the learning experiences children encounter during organized outdoor group games. Teachers employ the use of parachutes, balls toss games and activities to foster gross motor activities.

Water Play

Children enjoy the use of sprinklers, balls, hoops and buckets for safe water play during the summer season. The gazebo provides a staging area in the school’s open space for group and field games as well as water fun. The sensory table is used outside with various toys, water, sand and other materials.

Field Trips

Planned field trips include visits to a zoo, farm, museum or other place of interest for children and parents. A motor coach is utilized to provide safety and comfort. Field trips include walks along the school’s nature trail and within the residential neighborhood.

Special Guest

The school plans for special visitors such as musicians, clowns, magicians and naturalists.

Sand Box

Children learn physical material properties through play experience. The introduction of water in the sand box heightens the experience by allowing children to mold and create structures.