At the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden we follow the seasons and celebrate the natural world. This book is divided into monthly lesson plans with songs, books, art explorations, special topics, and monthly newsletters that make up our fully inclusive, nature-based curriculum. You will learn from real students, real parents and teachers in a nature based setting.
Our goal in presenting this book is to change people’s hearts, minds and practices around inclusive preschool programming. Each reader will enter this book at a different starting place. We welcome you. We are here to support your efforts. We believe the time has come to create community-wide change, starting with a child’s first school experience. Thank you for coming on this journey through a year in a fully inclusive, nature based preschool.
This book is available as a free electronic download. Or, as a hard-copy book for purchase. Hard copies cost $35. All proceeds from the book go directly back to supporting the PlayGarden’s inclusive programs and community-eduction efforts.
I highly recommend Inclusive Preschool Through the Seasons: Lessons and Stories from 10 years of Nature Based Preschool By Liz Bullard, Hannah Gallagher, Sophie Barnett-Dyer, and Mica Rood. This book has something for everyone. The book is well laid out so you can find what you need. If you are a parent or preschool teacher looking for specific lesson plans or inspiring recipes, there are many in the book to choose from. If you are a parent, teacher or administrator this book helps to illustrate how important it is to include ALL children in our programs. Through stories, examples of lessons, and suggestions for adaptations, the authors acknowledge that ALL children deserve to learn in an environment that is responsive to their needs and provides individualized instruction and experiences that maximizes their potential. The book is filled with specific resources such as The PlayGarden Manifesto and discussion night topics for Parent Nights that will help schools reflect on their own philosophy and practices. It’s also filled with wonderful photographs of an amazing place that will inspire you to go visit the Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, if you haven’t already been there!
The first section begins in August as parents, teachers and administrators prepare for the school year.
September is filled with ideas on how to build an inclusive preschool. In this section you will meet our roster of children.
In October we delve into risky play and conquering fears.
November arrives and we turn our hearts and minds to practicing gratitude.
In December, we write on how to make mealtimes meaningful and how to mange mealtimes for children with a diversity of eating and dietary needs.
We begin the new year in January by sharing how we practice art every day!
February includes a discussion of just the right amount of structure, how daily routines can enable easier flow and how to handle transitions in the day.
March is all about muddy, messy play and how parents, teachers and child care providers can see all behavior as a form of communication.
In April we share the many benefits of having animals as a part of a preschool program.
In May, we begin to help both parents and children plan for transition to a new school.
Finally, in June we offer lessons on how to practice inclusion beyond school.