The role of the learning environment – using the senses as a door to exploration

The local community of the kindergarten or school provides a lot of arenas for playful learning and curious exploration. If you take some time to study nature and cultural features in the neighbourhood, you will discover many opportunities to learn more about the natural science there.

Natural outdoor environments like forest, waterfront or a nearby pond offer plentiful environments for playful learning, sensory experiences and curious exploration. On the other hand, valuable learning environments can also be found in indoor spaces. The important thing is to find ways of stimulating children’s exploration and science-related discussion.

In urban and suburban areas as well, you can find creepy crawlies in the playground or in a ditch just outside the fences of the playground. Or you may have access to a park. Further out, a bridge, flood control infrastructure, or buildings can be worth studying. Houses can change the direction of the local winds, and the strength of the wind may increase or decrease between buildings. The local community may have a lot of information to be explored relating to knowledge about construction and materials.   

Take some time to study the nature and cultural features of the local community of the kindergarten or school. This is also a convenient and affordable place to start if you want to learn more about science topics for yourself, or topics that are interesting for your group of children.