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Spring 2024 Reflections

This Spring, we practiced and nurtured creativity through what we do best; nature-based, child-led play through classes that are scientifically curated by a team with YEARS of professional development in early childhood education. Each class is expertly designed to not only nurture our skill of the season but social-emotional, STEM and a deep, lasting connection to nature.


During our creativity session, explorers used a variety of materials each week to create art and music. They came up with multiple ways to solve a variety of "problems," and used their imaginations to make, learn and play in nature.


Each class, we set the scene with a featured creature that inspires our play and thoughts to get our explorers thinking about how we can play like said creature. We usually end up in the woods, exploring as we make our way to our play area. A guided activity is offered each week, yet explorers are truly free to make the experience their own. This concept can feel foreign at first and it may seem like your explorer isn't learning "how they should be" or "paying attention" during our time together.


I've found that the explorers who do the most wandering in class, oftentimes get the most out of their experience. They are the observers, the ones who need just a little space to reflect and sort through the knowledge that is hitting their developing brains. There have been countless times that I've received a message from a grown-up who was sure their explorer was in their own world during class, yet they went home and recreated the activity we did in class all on their own and in their own unique way.


This isn't to say that explorers who engage in the activity during class aren't learning; they certainly are. One of my own explorers focuses almost each week on the activity offered and one of them is a wanderer aka wants nothing to do with being there. Yet, they both go home chatting about the featured creature and practicing the activity offered in class in different ways (like, there have been SO many "spider webs" in my living room this Winter/Spring.)


Whether you have a wandering bird or one that thrives being in a flock, we will meet you where you're at. We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience with Willowdale in the sunshine, rain or snow.


Thanks for being here, we'll meet you in the mud soon XO Steph (she/her)

View all upcoming experiences here.



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