An important aspect of the Waldkindergarten programs in Germany is an attempt to avoid purchasing and playing with manufactured toys. Being in nature, one quickly realizes that there are endless objects in nature that can become a toy. Just stop for a moment and reflect on the many uses a stick might have in a child’s imaginative play. A sword? A fishing rod? A magic wand? A pony to ride on?
Our Nature Kindergarten educators and steering committee are trying to be mindful of this approach when thinking about our equipment purchases for outdoor and indoor programming. The items that have been purchased for outdoor learning are practical, tool-like objects such as magnifying glasses, nets, and squishy buckets. For the classroom, we are trying to bring natural materials inside and make environmentally sound purchases. For this reason, we selected several furniture items from Natural Pod (http://naturalpod.com/).
Thank you to community member, Werner Kuret, for preparing wooden blocks out of scrap wood pieces and sticks found in nature. We look forward to seeing what the Nature Kindergarten students will build!