For the past 5 years, Mary Mahler’s Kindergarten classes at St. Christopher Catholic Elementary School have been collecting Christmas trees for learning and exploration in their outdoor classroom.
Outdoor classrooms provide rich, green play-based learning environments for students. The classrooms help students develop their gross-motor, fine-motor, and sensory experiences, while also encouraging them to develop their creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
“The children use the Christmas trees to create magic forests, forts, shelters for animals, or whatever flight of fancy they come up with,” said Mary.
“The heavy work of lugging the Christmas tree around helps to develop body awareness and self-regulation. The sensory experience of smelling the trees and touching the needles and branches provide inspiration.”
When the trees have been loved, Mary’s class uses the branches to create whittle sticks and use the tree trunks to create wooden disks for their play stations.
If you are interested in donating your Christmas tree, please contact Mary by email at: MahlerM@hcdsb.org
Click here to watch St. Christopher’s feature in CHCH News.