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Moving is Learning: More Outside Adventures of the Rivers Class

May 17, 2021 | Nathan Johnson

No playgrounds? No problem. …Even after 9 months. 

The Rivers Class delights in outside play and learning every day.

All year, the children have been running, playing, imagining, collecting, and exploring, unaided by anything much in terms of playthings. 

Recently, our outside play has gotten a bit more elaborate …

You have already heard about the balls (in a previous blog) and watching construction (on Seesaw) …

But we have now graduated from sticks and rocks to

tools for digging!

We have added  

goals for scoring!

(and celebrating!)



And chalk, so we can always leave the park more


then we found it …

As the Reggio philosophy reminds us,

“Play is the work of children”

Another way to think of this is …



(and getting dirty and sweating and falling and getting hurt and getting up again)

is learning. 


The gross and fine motor skills they are honing, spatial awareness, and teamwork they are building will help them in reading, writing, mathematics, and beyond …

Have fun outside! 

Nathan Johnson

Rivers Class Assistant Teacher & Lower School Visual Art Teacher

Nathan Johnson graduated in 2004 from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (focusing on Illustration, Art History, and Puppetry), Theatre, and Elementary Education, followed by further time in Europe studying Art, and in Nova Scotia working with adults with developmental differences.

Happily back at his Alma mater (MSS class of 1995) Nathan has passionately committed his career to preserving the dignity and wonder of childhood. As children are more and more burdened with technology and privilege, he believes that in order for children to learn and grow, they must be given freedom within structure, choices with guidance, allowed to play, struggle, get dirty, and above all, for each child to be taught that they are a beloved child of God.

When not in the classroom, Nathan can be found kayaking, camping, hosting a game night, wandering around New York City, making friends with strangers, and spending time with his 11 nieces and nephews.

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