Nature based programs are becoming more popular across the country because of the many benefits they provide to children. The dual emphasis on both play-based and nature-based learning at Amy & Kids Co. provides double benefits to your child!
Children need to spend time in nature, and nature based programs make sure they have plenty of time to receive all the benefits being outdoors provides.
- Support creativity and problem-solving
- Promote development across all domains
- Encourage engaged, hands-on play
- Increase physical activity, balance, and strength
- Foster collaboration and social skills
- Improve eyesight and self-discipline
- Engage their senses and curiosity
- Reduce stress and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms
- Inspire engagement, play, and natural knowledge
- Practice risk-taking, independence and self-help skills
- Develop endurance, resiliency, and confidence
- Experience joy, contentment, and peace
- Create a lifelong appreciation and connection with the natural world
“Nature based” can mean many different things, depending on the program. At Amy & Kids Co. it means that nature is at the heart of our program and influences almost everything we do. High quality early childhood and environmental education practices blend together into a curriculum that sets the stage for environmental literacy. Intentional decisions to promote nature both outdoors and indoors connect children to the natural world, enabling them to learn in nature, about nature, and with nature.
One of the special ways we connect children to nature is through monthly visits by a naturalist from the YMCA Nature Kids program. These visits teach environmental appreciation through hands-on activities, crafts, games and stories
Our Nature Explore certified outdoor classroom provides a rich natural environment where children can learn the same things outdoors as they would inside. Children develop early academic skills while exploring engaging materials in carefully planned interest areas that echo indoor learning centers.
- Math: counting, estimating, sorting and measuring, comparing, patterning.
- Science: observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, drawing conclusions.
- Language & Literacy: talking, reading and drawing about nature.
- Music: sound, rhythm, pitch, tonality.
- Art: creativity, imagination, self-expression, fine motor skills.
Nature permeates almost every aspect our program indoors too! From earth-toned decor to natural materials, we make a conscious effort to bring the outdoors in. Our indoor environment allows children to experience nature with all of their senses, and most learning activities have a natural element to them.
- Children see calming, earth-toned shades on the walls, floor, window treatments, and toys. Large, low windows let in plenty of sunshine and provide a view of the natural world outside.
- Little hands feel wood, metal, cotton, wool, silk, glass, pottery, and other natural materials instead of plastic and synthetics.
- Children smell fresh air flowing through open windows and child-safe essential oil air fresheners.
- They hear water tinkling in a table-top fountain, bird calls, and other sounds of nature through the open windows.
- Local, in-season produce provides a taste of nature, as do the herbs gathered from our herb garden to enhance our meals.
- Learning invitations often incorporate natural items from outside like leaves, sticks, rocks, plants, etc.
Amy & Kids Co. provides the appropriate gear to make sure children are comfortable while outdoors, and to avoid putting a financial burden on parents. Children are provided with gear for all seasons: waterproof rain suit and boots for spring & fall, swim shorts/shirt set and broad-brimmed sun hat for summer, and waterproof snow suit, waterproof mittens, insulated boots and fleece balaclava for winter.
"We cannot express how happy we are that our daughter is with you. We know that she's loved, happy and thriving. Thanks for the excellent program you offer." ~Tanya & Todd.
It makes sense that a nature-based program would also be eco-friendly. We use eco-safe cleaning products and reusables whenever possible, to be kind to our Earth.
Children learn best through play in a carefully planned environment. See what your child will learn while playing and get ideas for extending the learning at home!