There is a peaceful, charming, “frozen in time” quality to Griffin Nursery School. Inside, windows line the east and west walls of the school room. A long, invisible corridor connects the learning areas and makes them all accessible. The Waving Room and the Kitchen afford our students and their parents privacy, as does our Cottage; but one can see the whole interior at a glance, and this provides a secure feeling to children, parents, and staff. Our most sociable area, where children learn to work together in groups and where we have our spontaneous music and dance experiences and our Group Times, is our Block Corner, outfitted with a comprehensive collection of unit blocks and accessories.
The children let themselves in and out the see-through doors between the Playroom, The Backyard, and the Side Yard. The play yards are as thoughtfully and aesthetically designed as the school room.
An overhang covers nearly a third of the back yard, defining our Patio, where children can play outside on the rainiest of days. The furniture, composed of boards, boxes, and standards, can all be dismantled and rearranged to fill the needs of the moment (trains, slides, obstacle courses). A dry sandbox provides tactile experiences to the children throughout the wet winter months. The Patio has three art areas: One, an “office” with numerous tools and drawing and writing materials; another, a large table for collage, painting, woodworking, sculpture, and mobile-making; and a third table for construction toy work.
The Sand Yard is the site of many water projects—dam building, river dredging and diversion, volcano building, archeological digs, etc. Our jungle gym sits in the middle of the Sand Yard and is used variously as a fire station, a pirate ship, a hospital, a two-story home, etc. Nearby are our swings, equipped with hooks so our children can adjust them for height.
The covered Playground is a place for large motor activities like hockey, basketball, slide boarding, bouncy ball games, gymnastics, balance beam and stilts activities, and target practice. We hold our afternoon group times here.
Two children can build with large blocks and Duplos, draw with sidewalk chalk, tend plants, or lie in the sun in our long, quiet side yard.