Rising Song Preschool

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Rising Song Preschool

Portland, Oregon

At the Waldorf inspired Rising Song Preschool, the extensive gardens are as integral to the children’s education as the indoor classrooms. Providing opportunities for play, exploration, observation and wonder at the natural world creates a richly layered learning experience.

The central open space features boulder and log seating to form an outdoor classroom surrounded by activity areas such as the mud kitchen, loose parts building, and sand and gravel digging areas. During storm events, the sand and gravel area’s bowled shape serves as a rain water ponding and infiltration zone. Cisterns gather roof run off to supply the ‘mud kitchen’ with water during dry weather.

A series of paths and planting beds spiral out from the central area creating a ‘food forest’.  In this zone children move through the immersive sensory experience of the smell and feel of plant and insect life, and participate in the more focused activities of tending planting beds.  As the children venture further into the landscape, the scale becomes bigger and wilder, with room for running, rolling, climbing, and exploring.


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