What is TimberNook?
- TimberNook is an innovative, nature-based developmental program designed to foster creativity, imagination, and independent play in the great outdoors.
- TimberNook was founded by a pediatric occupational therapist and developed upon a large body of peer-reviewed research that supports the importance of incorporating nature-based play into the school day.
The TimberNook curriculum utilizes the pedagogy of play to promote deep and meaningful learning in students and supports development of the whole child. TimberNook settings and experiences are carefully analyzed for both their therapeutic and their educational value in order to provide students with the opportunity to utilize all of their senses, their mind, and their body to the fullest.
The curriculum encourages complex social interactions, reasonable risk-taking, problem solving, the development of fine motor skills, balance and overall strength, independent thought, emotional regulation, tactile (touch) processing, proprioceptive (joint/muscle awareness) processing, multi-level learning, motor planning, and creativity.
Most importantly, TimberNook reveals the fun in outdoor learning. Students have the opportunity to build elaborate designs and structures. By offering students authentic ways to demonstrate the application of their knowledge they develop a love for learning, creativity, and critical thinking.
- Enhanced Learning
TimberNook provides students with the opportunity to engage in child-directed play during the school day. Research has shown that this type of play improves content retention, attentiveness in the classroom, and executive function skills, such as planning, initiation, and problem solving.
- Supports Development
TimberNook experiences meet a range of developmental needs that are not typically part of a content-based curriculum. Students are encouraged to take age-appropriate risks, engage their senses, and challenge their body and mind in ways that sitting in a regular classroom cannot.
- Intentional Curriculum
TimberNook provides educators with the tools to foster learning through play. The curriculum is intentionally designed to inspire creativity by provoking curiosity in students. Extended time, ample space, and natural loose parts are just a few key components used to support full immersion in deep and meaningful play with peers.
- Advanced Social Skills
All throughout the TimberNook programming, students practice listening to others’ ideas, negotiating, compromising, collaborating, regulating emotions, and executing complex play schemes with classmates in nature.
Students are given the opportunity to:
- Demonstrate the application of their knowledge
- Participate as a member of an interdependent community
- Design and construct complex structures out of a variety of materials
- Care for themselves and those around them
- Cooperate with other students to accomplish group goals
- Be inquisitive and make connections
- Initiate new ideas and invent solutions to problems
- Care for common spaces and materials to maintain cleanliness and order
- Act in stewardship for the environment and one’s own health and well‐being
- Develop physical strength and balance through running, catching, throwing, kicking, climbing, jumping, and rolling
- Create and develop complex play schemes
- Be immersed in God’s creation and develop a love for the outdoors