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The Tree Stump Classroom

This is a photo of something extraordinary. At first glance, it seems ordinary. But look closely at what is happening. Six boys, of their own free will, turned a tree stump into a classroom. Each boy is engaged. Each is creating his activity that is unique to his interests.

They are participating together. As the children climb, wield sticks, and maneuver around each other, they are learning spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is the knowledge of how much space the body occupies and how to use the body in space. It is one of the perceptual motor skills that children develop to be able to interact with the environment by combining the use of senses and motor skills. It’s an exceptionally important cognitive skill for children and must be learned early in their lives. Good spatial awareness skills result in increased dexterity, a great sense of balance, flexibility and whole body strength if it is gained by actions such as climbing.

Of course, there are many other beneficial activities taking place in this outdoor “classroom.” Did you know that a baby’s crawling is critical to future learning? Similarly, playing and moving are vital to cognitive skills like reading and learning mathematics. You might find this story interesting of a boy who overcame reading difficulties through certain physical exercises. It is found at

At Marbles Farm, we believe that a critical part of a child’s development comes in playing and interacting with other children. Our natural learning environment is truly extraordinary.

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