Purple Moon ELC

Natural Learning Environments

Nature as our classroom

The more time a child spends in nature, the more they crave to be in nature as an adult.  Conversely, the less a child spends in nature, the less they want to be in nature as an adult.
—   Robin Moore, Natural Learning Initiatives

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We Want Children to Crave Nature

Sadly, there is a whole generation of kids that have no idea what these things are like. Purple Moon wants to bring that wonder of childhood into the preschool setting. So while parents work, they can feel assured that their children are enjoying the same natural wonders they did as children. 

A flood of research all points to one thing:  Being in nature, close to nature, even looking at nature, is beneficial to all beings, not just children.  Studies are connecting experiences in nature to creativity and restorative properties.  Lack of nature, what Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder,” is having disastrous effects on our nation’s youth.  Multi-year studies at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found: “…the best predictor of preschool children’s physical activity is simply being outdoors, and that an indoor, sedentary childhood is linked to mental health problems.” 

Excluding newborn infants, all children at Purple Moon spend as much time as possible outside in nature, no less than two 45-60 minute periods depending on the weather. (If weather conditions do not allow, we have a large motor room to exercise those large muscles.  This is also a multi-use room where we can put on shows and celebrations throughout the year.) We promote the “no child inside” movement, the challenge of connecting every child to nature. We bring the classroom outside whenever possible. Our natural playgrounds encourage running, climbing, jumping, digging, and imaginative play. We have a tricycle loop to encourage more exercise and active play. We have logs for balancing, tree stumps to jump, sit, or climb. View our playground renderings here! We have gardens and sand areas, water wheels, and bubbling rocks. Your child will not only play in nature, but will also crave it!