OutdoorConnecting with the Environment

“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

“It is also necessary for his psychical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.”
—Maria Montessori

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Jackson Hole has a rich culture tied to the outside environment. We live in a special place that celebrates and embraces activities tied to being outdoors. Dr. Montessori felt the garden should be an extension of the classroom, allowing children to connect to all of the natural lessons and experiences available outside. Not only do we spend time each day in our back yard, we also hike trails located on nearby Snow King Mountain. Our classroom activities include activities such as corn hulling, nut cracking and chopping to make special birdseed mixtures, growing our own sunflower seeds, and grinding eggshells to feed our plants. Children learn to grow flowers and vegetables, which are used for flower arrangements and snack, grow mint for tea parties, and spend time at Ms. Dee’s house helping her extensive gardens thrive. The class worm bin shows children how decomposition works and contributes to the health of our Earth. In the wintertime National Elk Refuge sled rides provide a place to learn up close about important large animals in our ecosystem while we study migration and biomes. Past special activities have included cross-country ski lessons, snowshoeing, sledding, hikes, and boat rides in Grand Teton National Park.