Let me introduce myself. My name is Ann Glaser and I am an outdoor preschool teacher. What does this mean? It means that all of my classes are conducted completely outdoors….All year round. It means that my students and I wear waterproof pants, and boots, lots of fleece and hats and mittens in the winter. Waterproof mittens of course! I work in the Northwest where the weather means cold, dark and wet for many of the months of the year. But the Northwest is also blessed with deep forests and rushing streams and fallen nurse logs full of lots of exciting mushrooms and slugs. My students are between the ages of two and five. I encourage them to climb trees, scramble under logs and jump over streams. We use scientific methods to look at bugs and fish. Our scientific tools are nets and cups and bug boxes and our eyes and ears. Our scientific notebooks are our brains for remembering. We are the explorers of old; listening for birds high in the trees and the whistling of the wind.
I teach two different kinds of programs. One is a parent/child program where we visit different outdoor nature areas and parks for a new nature theme every week. If we are visiting a lake with a beach we may be learning about ducks or fish. The next week we are in the forest learning about spiders and webs. My other program is an Outdoor Preschool program where children three and a half to five years old are dropped off for an outdoor adventure class at the same location each week. The Outdoor Preschool is run like a preschool with a gathering activity, circle time, stories and snack time. We have an exciting hike each day and nature exploration with possible farm animal time.
Many people ask how the children fare in the winter with our classes. I go by the Norwegian saying that “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!” Which means-we can have fun as long as we are dry and warm enough. So just like children can ski for hours outside, they can play in the rain with the right amount of gortex on!So if you have a young child that could use some extra time in the woods, streams, trees and ferns-send them to Tiny Treks to explore with experienced outdoor teachers. They’ll have a blast!