Traditionally, a Nature Explorium is designed for young children, as a "natural playground" of sorts, grounded in research, that develops essential skills for learning - physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. Children direct their own learning, moving between areas such as "Music and Movement", "Messy Materials", "Climbing and Crawling", "Nature Art", and "Water Play."
At Brookville, we have extended our vision to include older children and learners of all ages. The space is aesthetically pleasing and covers topics such as renewable resources, simple machines, comparative technologies and materials, native vs. invasive plants, and Long Island history.
Our Nature Explorium progressed from a weedy, overgrown and unused area of our parking lot into a beautiful space for exploring and learning. With grant funds and work done by volunteers, we have built not only a wonderful play space but community and camaraderie. Folks working on the project have included Nassau BOCES carpentry students, Grounds staff, current and former BOCES naturalists and other employees and their families, and groups of young people from across Long Island.
The Photo Gallery shows the development over time with a launch during programs and conferences conducted on-site for the Pre-K Initiative. Many of the resources sited during those Professional Development sessions can be found on the Pre K -webpages
Lauren, a Girl Scout Gold Award project volunteer, has planted native species on the berm by the "Messy Materials" area. She recently received a second grant from the LI Native Plant Initiative
for even more native plants! Download this document
to see pictures of these beautiful additions to our "Classroom."
Architectural Plan for our Nature Explorium!