The Nature Lab & Glenn Garden
Our wonderful Glenn is home to both the Art Studio and the Nature Lab, which can be seen just as one ascends the stairs into this magical little paradise.
The Nature Lab serves as a home base for conducting life science activities and gardening. The children learn through planned, hands-on activities and observations. While much of what we do in the Glenn is thoughtfully planned, we find that there are often many opportunities for exciting on-the-spot learning. These teachable moments are key in creating a lifelong curiosity and love for learning. Even if composting was on the agenda, we might find ourselves instead studying a living creature that has suddenly turned up in the Glenn. The serendipitous discovery of a group of caterpillars can lead us to new observations, and we’ll eagerly begin collecting, caring for, and studying the life cycles of our newfound caterpillar friends!
Because the Nature Lab’s focus is life science, our time spent there includes gardening. We regularly grow various crops in our six raised vegetable beds, and rotate them after they’ve come to harvest. Organic compost is created and used to enrich the soil. We then plant seeds, water, weed, and watch as our seedlings sprout up into the healthy foods that we all love!
Aside from our thriving gardening program, we also spend time in the Nature Lab studying and caring for our creature friends. In the Lab, one will find captive bugs, amphibians, and reptiles. The children assist with feeding our animal friends, and also clean and maintain their habitats. Our favorite science and nature books are often read to the children as a supplemental form of learning, combining science and literacy in the best way imaginable. We can’t imagine a more exciting way to naturally enhance our classroom curriculum!
The children often enjoy having the freedom to explore the Glenn on their own, and share their many discoveries with their friends and teachers. Musical instruments are found throughout the Glenn; as are mighty boulders, butterfly gardens, hummingbird stations, and lots of interesting trees and plants. It’s simply irresistible to our little learners, and a highlight of their day!
The Nature Lab and its activities are under the care of Mr. Joe, our Glenn Curator and Creature Specialist. Aside from a love for nature and wildlife, he also has a strong background in Early Childhood Development. Having worked for years as a Training and Curriculum Specialist for several military child development centers in California and Europe, he is no stranger to making the most out of every teachable moment. We’re pleased to know that The Glenn and Nature Lab are being utilized to their fullest potential!
The Nature Lab is a wonderful addition to our beloved Glenn, and a favorite learning place for our children. We are highly fortunate to have successfully followed our vision, and to have created such a beautiful, nature-based learning environment. We love The Glenn, and so do our kids!