Nature Explore Classrooms

The Outdoor Space at Grace has eight unique areas specifically designed to encourage kindergarten through fifth-grade students to build, create, collaborate and play. It’s open to students throughout the school day as well as visitors on weekends year-round. This beautiful space consists of plants native to South Texas and is easily maintained.

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Upon entering the Outdoor Space at Grace, students and families find the following play and educational areas:

  • Play Area: This is the space for large-motor activities such as running, jumping, dancing, or playing active games.
  • Climbing Area: Anchored by existing play structures, this area is all about physical motor play. Visit our favorites such as the swings and climbing structures, or try the giant winding slide.
  • Messy Materials Area: In this large space, children use a wide variety of natural materials (logs, twigs, hay, and rocks) to construct and create collaborative projects.
  • Building Area: Using natural and man-made building materials such as wooden blocks, tree parts, or Imagination Playground pieces, this area provides students the opportunity to safely change their environment into a play space of their very own. They can build the house, castle, or city of their imagination.
  • Nature Art Area: Set on a deck under a canopy of trees, this area inspires close observation and creativity with natural art materials. Our students can make their own pieces of art, create a sculpture, paint, or build a fairy house!
  • Music Area: Using a variety of musical instruments, students in this area learn about sound, pitch, rhythm and tonality.
  • Gardening Area: Our garden area allows students to experience the joy of caring for their own plant. From sowing seeds to watering, weeding, harvesting and tasting, students have a strong understanding of what it takes for a plant to survive.
  • Gathering Area: This flexible space with benches and a stage offers a welcoming space for orientation, hands-on science programs, or even story time for our younger visitors.
  • Sand Digging Area: Our massive sand pit is home to digging and sifting adventures. Our young builders come here to create sand masterpieces.

Promoting Leadership

The Outdoor Space at Grace has encouraged cross-age relationships and has become a powerful mentoring medium for Lower School students. Fifth-grade students have taken on a leadership role, becoming campus recess coaches with the sole purpose of promoting play and teamwork with the school’s youngest students. Administrators and teachers have taken note of the tremendous impact these student mentoring relationships have had on the school’s vision to inspire thoughtful, compassionate students eager to engage in the world around them.

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