A Visit to The Parker River Community Preschool

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in The Seedling BLOG | 3 comments

Adding Nature Study Inside and Out

A Visit to The Parker River Community Preschool

” A child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking…and a hundred, hundred more.

~ Loris Malaguzzi

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the Parker River Community Preschool. This program is a Reggio inspired preschool & kindergarten for children 15 months through 6+ years. Both the indoor and outdoor learning environments are nature-based offering children a multitude of options for hands-on learning and play. Come join me for a little peek and visual tour of this amazing school.


Signing in with a variety of stones. Each room had a variation of the stone check-in. It is such a delightful way to begin the day.

What day is it? Each class also had a variation of a “natural” calendar. This one was my favorite. So simple and beautiful at the same time.

Every classroom has these stumps for seating. They were the perfect size for the young children. I like how natural they are and also how they do not take up a lot of space. There was something very special with the blotches of paint on each one. This group likes to get messy!

The Stick Framed Art adorned the sunny hallway. Each student painted a piece of white fabric with a variety of browns and each painting was framed with small sticks and twigs.


The section of the outdoor classroom held a variety of Loose Parts for open-ended play. Tires, buckets, pails and large spoons all housed in easy access barrels on top of crates. Great idea!

This is a great example of working with nature to create a place to climb, crawl & slide. Adding a few old tires as planters make this a one-of-a-kind structure!

Recycling an old slide can be done in so many ways. Check out how they did it with this one!

Many different types of Boats for dramatic play. Options are endless!

What a wonderful way to spend the morning! If you get a chance, I highly recommend taking the time to visit other programs with Outdoor Classrooms. You never know where the inspiration will come from. A big shout out and thank you, Anne Foley, for inviting me to tag along.

Now I want to hear from you. What is inspiring you? What would you like to add to your Outdoor Classroom? Share in the comments below. Want to learn more about how to design an Outdoor Classroom? Check out the Teaching in the Dirt: Designing Outdoor Classrooms e-course. 




  1. Loooves all the different ideas here ! Wish I could visit a school like that one day !

  2. It was wonderful visiting the Parker River Preschool. There were so many elements that stimulated creativity and open ended play. I loved the wheelbarows in the outdoor space. My preschoolers love to transport natural items. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and heavy work is a great way to settle busy little bodies.

    • I absolutely loved visiting the Parker River School with you! I encourage everyone in our community to reach out to a local school that has an Outdoor Classroom and take the time to visit. It is important to see what other programs are doing and more importantly to build our community of Natural Teachers that inspire each other to reconnect children with nature.

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