University Synagogue’s Early Childhood Learning Center is proud to have an outdoor classroom designed by the Outdoor Classroom Project (OCP) where our preschoolers spend time throughout the week. The OCP’s vision, that children benefit from spending more time outdoors and that they can learn as much outdoors as they can inside, is something that ECLC is proud to sustain.
Our preschoolers benefit from hands-on-learning experiences in our outdoor classroom through gardening, water play, mud play and dramatic play. Our outdoor classroom features a sustainable garden where our children can taste different fruits, vegetables and herbs, and an experimental garden, where they get to cultivate their green thumbs by planting their own items.
The outdoor classroom also contains a large water fixture, giving children the opportunity to play with water in various ways as well as work on science experiments, and explore a mud/sand sensory table. The stage allows the kids to dress up and put on theatrical performances or just be silly!
All of our teachers have received professional training from the Outdoor Classroom Project and work to incorporate the space into their weekly lessons. ECLC also provides enrichment classes that use the space, including a specific outdoor classroom enrichment class.