• My daughter is part of a once a week cooperative preschool in which we meet outdoors, away from the noise of the city. The children play, without using toys, props, tools or other artificial stimuli. Nature is their guide, their muse and theirs to respectfully explore.

    I have witnessed children’s imaginations turning dugouts in canyon walls into a dinosaur eggs nest, wherein they were the baby dinosaurs one week. Another week this same space became their magic cave where they could transform themselves into any kind of superhero they wanted to be. Falling palm fronds still attached to the trees became Tarzan-like swings for them to swing back and forth endlessly. The longest of these fronds was  coveted and the reason for many a disagreement to begin. However, they learned with time, how to share this special frond, with guidance from their parents, and eventually, without our guidance.

    What did I learn over the years of our participation in Nature School? That imagination requires peace. It requires quiet. It requires a subtle attunement of our personal natures, to blend with Mother Nature by not feeling the need to dominate her, but instead to incorporate environment into whimsical play. Playing outdoors has taught us many things and as the saying goes, Nature is the Best Playground!