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Ten Guiding Principles

Outdoor Classroom
Nature Explore Sourcebook
Divide the space into clearly delineated areas for different kinds of activities
Include a mix of activity areas
o Entry feature
o Open area for large-motor activities
o Climbing/crawling area
o Messy materials area
o Building area
o Nature art area
o Music and movement area
o Garden and/or pathway through plantings
o A gathering place
o Storage area
o Water area
o Dirt-digging area
o Sand area
o Wheeled-toy area
o Swings or other dynamic equipment
o Greenhouse
Give areas simple names
Identify each area with a sign and other visual clues
Be sure every area is visible at all times
Use a variety of natural materials, including trees and other live plants
Choose elements for durability and low maintenance
Maximize beauty and visual clarity in the over-all design
Personalize the design with regional materials and ideas from children and staff
Be sure the space meets all regulatory standards for your region