The children enjoyed the beautiful weather outside and discovered some new signs of Spring this week. Montessori placed a great emphasis on learning from nature. The Casa-aged children thrive from learning outside, and are able to use all of their senses while exploring new ideas. “There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Maria Montessori
An interesting book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv wrote about nature-deficit disorder where children are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, resulting in attention difficulties and other problems.
Children can learn so much from nature, and Montessori felt that outdoor education can be an excellent extension of the classroom. This week, the children decided to create a sink/float experiment using some items from nature and watching them in the stream (we have a beautiful wooded area and stream behind Sabrina Park).
The children decided to experiment with leaves, some sticks, rocks and some fungus. One child exclaimed, “Look! Rocks sink and sticks float!” with great enthusiasm after his own discovery.