Maumee Valley's PreKindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students spend a portion of their day exploring Maumee Valley's 75 acres. Expert teachers are skilled at taking curriculum outdoors through all four seasons of the year. Teachers encourage, motivate, engage, and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences. Outdoor education allows children the time and space to develop their interests, skills, and understandings through practical hands-on experiences. Time spent outside is inspired by the Forest School philosophy, playful learning indicators, and co-created curriculum. All Prekindergarten and Junior Kindergarten teachers are certified outdoor educators.
PreKindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students use loose parts and natural materials found on the campus grounds for building, counting, forming letters, and other academic activities that align with curriculum goals. They are able to use their bodies in different sensory experiences and improve their gross motor skills while climbing trees, rolling down hills, and balancing on logs.
At this age, students are emergent writers and expressing themselves through nature drawings and journaling. Fine-motor activities such as weaving vines, picking up bugs with utensils, and creating art in the mud all strengthen their hands and improve their pencil grip. They connect to nature by observing plants and animals during their free exploration time and in different mindfulness practices.