Discovery Play Gardens

Our outdoor landscape features two expansive Discovery Play Gardens and an outdoor classroom, where children can interact and learn while engrossed in nature and enrich their gross motor skills."

Environmental education and outdoor play are essential to the development of a child. It not only promotes physical health, but promotes opportunities for social interaction and collaboration, gives children the chance to take appropriate risk, naturally supports STEM skills and anchors the children to the real world (NAEYC, 2022). Fia Mia Academy is housed on over an acre of land which contains two outdoor Discovery Play Gardens, also known as DPGs. These spaces have been landscaped using berms, mounds, logs, stumps, and boulders to encourage children to explore the intricacies of nature.

Each of the two Discovery Play Gardens are designed to be developmentally appropriate for the age levels that utilize the space. A wide variety of materials allow for enriched explorations supporting the multiple intelligences and large motor development. These materials include climbing equipment, see-through art easels, musical instruments such as drums and chimes, interactive water play, natural sand areas, cozy nooks for reading, and wooden log playhouses for imaginative play. Picnic tables and park benches allow children to relax and foster social relationships. In addition, our campus includes a large, paved area utilized for large motor activities such as bikes, basketball, soccer, and open explorations during summer months.

Students are encouraged to learn in this natural environment through the exploration of child-friendly plants, trees, flowers, and vegetation. They receive hands-on experiences with wind, dirt, sand, water, and insects. In addition, each classroom maintains a garden that teaches responsibility and an appreciation for nature, all while being utilized in various elements of the curriculum.

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