We are so excited for our Thursday and Saturday LEAP sessions to start this week, and we hope you are, too! Before you get here, read on to find out what to expect at LEAP, and what we're expecting of you and/or the caregiver attending with your child.
1. Let your child lead the way. Most of the class will consist of free play among 6-8 different stations. Some kids might hang out at the same station for half the class filling and emptying buckets of beans, while others may run around and continuously sample each station. Watch what your child is drawn to, and then join in!
2. Check out the Animal Home theme for each class. Each week will be themed around a different animal home, so the stations will mostly connect with aspects of a specific type of habitat, starting with our own home habitat. Then we will alternate each week with reading a related story at the end of class or having a cool animal experience, which could mean watching the gorillas come upstairs and play with some fun enrichment or it could mean meeting an animal up close and touching it. Here are the first three themes, and pretty soon you will see more info added to the right side of the blog:
Week 1: Our Home
Week 2: Arctic
Week 3: Nests
3. Dress for a mess. Playing with natural materials sometimes means getting dirty, be it spaghetti painting, playing with vinegar and baking soda, or doing rain painting but that's all part of the fun! If you and your child are dressed for a bit of paint and dirt, then you can dig right into the activities and not worry about the clothes.
4. Enjoy this special time with your child. LEAP is centered around nature play- playing in and around nature as well as with natural materials- so it's a great opportunity to take a break from technology, explore the fun materials and the animals surrounding you, and share in your child's sense of wonder.
5. Join the LEAP dialogue! Feel free to chat with staff and fellow participants at LEAP, and follow this blog to learn more about nature play, share your ideas and feedback, and get inspired to extend your outdoor and nature play experiences beyond the class.
6. Subscribe to this blog by clicking on the top right part of the page. Throughout the series, we will share photos, discuss nature play, give you some activity how-tos, and hopefully inspire you to extend your nature play experiences beyond LEAP class!