BEEP teacher Alicia Osborne-Stackpole reported this month on her Idea Lab grant to build and utilize a mud kitchen with a water pump and painted stone fruits and vegetables with her students. Alicia requested funding for this project because of the growing body of literature indicating positive developmental impacts for preschoolers of outdoor, hands-on sensory learning. Alicia’s students, by playing with the mud kitchen outdoors in nature, experienced physical, cognitive, linguistic, and social-emotional growth during the course of the year. The BEF is so excited to be able to support project such as these, that enable educators to explore new techniques in experiential learning for their students – and how wonderful to be able to play in the dirt and mud! Thank you, Alicia!

Idea Lab grants are offered by the BEF each fall, for implementing ideas around hands-on, experiential learning during the same academic year. If you’re a Brookline educator, start thinking now about ideas you might want to explore with your students next year, and watch for the opening of the Idea Lab grant cycle in October!