Other learning centers can be created in various open spaces.
You can allow the children to decide the placement of other learning centers in available spaces in the yard. With planning, each one becomes portable and can be moved to meet the needs of the children on any given day.
By using a series of tubs to store the materials for each of the learning centers or zones, items are easily put away after play and you are able to maintain a sense of order. As long as all of the materials needed for a particular activity are stored together, everyone can easily decide the tubs they want and can place them where they want to do that activity.
If you initially provide some training for the children on how to use the materials, how to care for them, and how to return them to their proper storage place, everyone will be more self-reliant and responsible for their own learning.
For the math and manipulatives area, you might include a vinyl table cloth as a way to identify the play area. In addition, this will enable the children to keep track of counters and smaller pieces without losing them in the grass.
A rug or blanket with an imprint of a town or other roadway system is fun for the block area, especially if you include a set of toy cars as accessories to extend the play.
You might consider a storage shed for all of the tubs, including the dramatic play prop boxes, so they are easily accessible for the times that the children are there, yet are stored discreetly when they are not. Thus your daily educational environment will return to the garden retreat for family and friends in the evenings and weekends.
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