Build Area: This acorn-shaped area with flooring made from locust stump sections encourages children to build with wooden blocks with lots of room and no worries about noise (block play has actually been banned in some classrooms for this reason). Natural Materials are all COVID safe and are cleaned regularly.
Different types of building blocks are available, including rectangular blocks representing many different species of wood, naturally shaped organic blocks cut from pruned trees throughout the property, and small clay bricks. All allow children to experiment with different shapes and engineering their own structures. Block play strengthens visual-spatial skills, mathematical skills, and abstract thinking. Providing a variety of block shapes allows children to experiment in new ways.
Perform Area: Families experiment with making music and creating expressive movement here using a stage built by the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School. The stage is used to hold COVID safe charades, dances, and other creative imaginative play.
Adjacent to the stage you will find custom instruments designed and crafted by Being:Art LLC, a noted Nature Explore instrument builder. This Memphis, TN company was founded by an artist and musician/craftsman team who are also Nature Explore Classroom trainers in music and movement. The instruments include a 2.3 chromatic marimba, a 4-octave kidimbarimba, a 1-octave bass marimba, and 1-octave bass chimes. The sculptural instruments are crafted of ipe and cedar woods and are designed to be easily played by multiple people. They are finely tuned to multiple scales that are designed to sound harmonic and melodic together.
The instruments can be used to teach principles of sound, pitch, rhythm and tonality, and naturally promote improvisation and spontaneous community interaction. Playing rhythmic patterns and keeping tempo employs intrinsic math skills as well as fostering kinesthetic awareness and hand-eye coordination.