Experiencing Nature: The Toddler Petting Zoo

“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.”

–Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori believed that it is important for children to experience and interact with the natural world hands-on. That introducing them to reality-based activities in a prepared environment will lead to better abstract and critical thinking.

Today the Toddlers hosted some adorable little animals at the new Palm Lane campus. As small groups of friends came outdoors, some chose to observe from outside the pen. Others couldn’t wait to go inside the pen and practice soft hands with the gentle baby animals. We always respect the process of introducing new experiences to our students and allow them to choose how close they would like to be and whether to touch them. Another option for the children was to use a brush to smooth the animals’ hair. Giving a little space between them and the animals with the brushes was a nice way to allow the students who were a little unsure a way to still interact in a way that made them comfortable. It was quite cute to see their faces light up at the sight of the baby goats, sheep, chickens, and the little Bantam roster! A favorite among our guests was the mama llama. She was accompanied by her baby llama, who was already almost as big as her! (They grow up so fast…)

At the end of the visit our friends said goodbye to the animals as students were led back to their classrooms. We’d like to give a big thank you to Carter’s Farms which provided the baby petting zoo. We were so happy to see how docile and sweet the animals were with the children.