Regina preschoolers get back to nature

James Johnson, afternoon childcare provider, works with students in Regina’s explorer classroom.

Students are smart in many ways. We’ve all heard about the multiple intelligences. Students become alert, learn more and get engaged when they are able to learn by using movement, music, pictures and especially nature.

Mary Pechous, preschool director, knew that students could have an enhanced learning experience through an outdoor classroom. Pechous and her staff went to work last spring designing, creating and developing a plan for what would become Regina Preschool’s Nature Explorer Classroom. Pechous attended a workshop in Omaha on this particular curriculum and heard about what it could bring to a preschool program.

After finding the perfect outdoor area at Regina, work went into creating a babbling brook (Frog Log), a vegetable garden, a building area, a quiet nook for reading under the pine (The Quiet Area), a music bell wall (Music in Movement), a messy materials area (investigating seed pods using magnifying glasses) and a nature art area.

The Nature Explore Classroom Certification Program is a national initiative that recognizes schools that have made a commitment to providing outdoor classrooms and comprehensive programming to help children use the natural world as an integral part of learning.


Students are able to try their hands at gardening, harvesting, planting, classifying and observing nature. Students are able to try eating some of the produce from their garden. The preschoolers are able to appreciate plants, flowers and trees by caring for them.

God has created a big, bright beautiful world and now the Regina preschoolers can appreciate this outdoor gift in many ways.

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