Our beautiful park-like location provides a natural setting for the study of living things. Our spacious outside garden allows children opportunities to grow things and watch the cycles of life of the different species of plants and insects. We know the value (intrinsic, health, respect for living things, stress reduction) of natural spaces in early education environments.
Research indicates that children today need more time outdoors and can benefit by making deeper connections to the natural world. Santa Margarita has created a number of nature areas – a small orchard, bedded and fenced garden area, lawn, and large planters and ceramic pots throughout the outside play area.
Teachers incorporate all areas of Early Childhood development into the outside environment, measuring the growth of plants, reading books on the lawn, eating healthy snacks from the garden, dancing and singing outside. Children have numerous opportunities to engage with nature – touch the soil, plant seeds, hold an earthworm, weed the garden, and nurture and care for a living thing. We believe the Outside Classroom is the way to help children become the best future caregivers of our earth and to develop a respect and caring for all living creatures including humans.