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Play-based, Nature-focused.

One of the many things that makes our preschool so special, and is a distinguishing feature of our program, is our focus on nature. Much research has come out in the last few years about the great benefits that the outdoors has for all children. So, in addition to spending as much time as possible outdoors, our teachers also work to bring the outdoors inside: in the science area, as loose parts, in dramatic play, and in arts and crafts projects.

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Here’s what some of the research says: 

  • One of the most exciting benefits has to do with stress management in children -- outdoor play helps children manage stress and become resilient.  (Wells, 2000)

  • Children who connect with nature may be more inventive and better problem-solvers due to the hands-on learning that local nature provides.  (Malone, 2003)

  • Children who grow up spending time in nature are more likely to be strong advocates for the environment when they reach adulthood, which is critical for the long-term protection of our natural heritage. (Malone 2003)

  • Children who play in natural environments show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility and they are sick less often. (Fjortoft 2001; Grahn et al, 1997)

  • Outdoor environments are important to children’s development of independence and autonomy.  (Bartlett, 1996)

  • Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline.  The greener the view, the better the scores. (Faber Taylor et al 2002; Wells 2000)

  • When children play in natural environments, their play is more diverse, with imaginative and creative play that fosters language and collaborative skills (Faber Taylor et al; Fjortoft, 2000. Moore and Wong, 1997)


Covenant places a high value on educating children on the importance of nature and our connection to it.  Currently, this is all done through a coordinated combination of children’s literature, music and movement, science and art activities as well as regular time outdoors in our cutting edge Turtle Playscape.  

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