Nature As A Guide: Stewart Little Day School Students Thrive With Outdoor Education

The kids at Stewart Little Day School do all their learning in the great outdoors — with a teacher who uses nature to guide them.

Wednesday, August 16th 2023, 5:47 pm



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A day school in Tulsa likes to go back to the basics with outdoor learning.

The kids at Stewart Little Day School do all their learning in the great outdoors — with a teacher who uses nature to guide them.

There is always something to see in the Stewart Little Day School playground. The young explorers can help tend to the plants, open a book to read in the sunflower circle, or even be lucky enough to get an up-close look at a big worm.

For Jessica Stewart—the great outdoors sparks these learning opportunities organically. The seven kids at her day school are exclusively outside in the rain, heat, and cold unless temperatures are extreme.

“It's been really fun to sit down and read a book about worms or caterpillars and walk outside,” she said.

Jess’s backyard is full of ways for the kids to use their imagination. There is a music wall, equipment to climb, chickens roaming, and ideas ready to flourish, much like their garden.

A new addition this year is the Farm Stand, where kids get a chance to sell the eggs and vegetables they’ve grown in their backyard garden.

Jess was a teacher for several years and had other leadership jobs in school districts. Her backyard daycare is a way to take technology away and instead let kids learn naturally.

“The most asked question is how much access to technology do they have, and the answer is pretty much none," said Jess.

She’s been open for a year now and said it hasn’t been easy– but her kids are thriving thanks to help along the way.

“My friends have helped me build pretty much all of this. I got grants through DHS. Families here have connected me with private donors," she said.

With such a demand for daycares in Oklahoma, Jess is thankful to give this experience to Tulsa kids, right in her backyard.

“It has been really touching to see so many people show up and help us," she said.

Jess has openings now that some kids are going back to school.

How Do I Enroll My Child

For information on the day school, please CLICK HERE.

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