I estimated that nearly 500 people enjoyed the temporary Nature Explore Classroom on the roof of the Cedar Rapids Public Library September 7, 2013. We were celebrating the Family Connections Library Open House.
It was gorgeous weather for the farmer’s market and many took advantage of the day to find the 3rd floor green rooftop! We had hopscotch, a hollow log to crawl through, a labyrinth, musical instruments, dancing scarves, tree ‘cookies’, tree blocks, snake skins, bugs, and even a Percheron Horse skull!
Every child and adult could take home a nature item to add to or begin their personal collection. Parents took home a sample of the Nature Explore Family Club materials so they could continue the exploration at home!
One of the favorite activities were the hammocks – Nature Explore tree house fabric tied to the railing, supplied with baskets of books. Adults, teens and little ones sat, swung and read a new book cradled in the sturdy translucent fabric slings in 3 locations.
Our goal was to help families see how simple it is to provide focused activity areas that help children connect to nature and their wild side! Check out our Eco Family Facebook page for more photos!
Educators who want to learn how to design their outdoor classroom can attend workshops scheduled all over Iowa. Check Nature Explore for one near you! Several Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Family Life Specialists are certified trainers. If you don’t have one near you, contact us to get one scheduled!
What does your community have for outdoor learning spaces? Is there a certified Nature Explore Classroom near you?