Regina teacher Dennie Fornwald promotes puddle play

This time of year, Dennie Fornwald makes a concious effort to get her Pre-K students outside and playing in puddles, even if it means things get a little messy.

Teacher says students learn about nature, physics and balance by splashing around outside

Regina Pre-Kindergarden teacher Dennie Fornwald encourages her charges to play in puddles on the playground. 0:30

Spring can be messy.

Snowbanks melt into soggy, muddy puddles and where there is a mess to be made, you can bet kids will be right there in the middle of it. 

"This year I thought why fight it? Kids are drawn to puddles, they are kid magnets," said DennieFornwald, the Pre-K teacher at Glen Elm Community School in Regina.

Fornwald not only lets her three- and four-year-old kids play in the puddles, she promotes it. 

"This year I thought why fight it? Kids are drawn to puddles, they are kid magnets," says Dennie Fornwald, a Pre-K teacher at Glen Elm Community School in Regina. (Nichole Huck/CBC )

"I think it's a really wondrous time of year, I think every person remembers being a kid and playing in puddles," she explained.

Fornwald takes her Pre-K class outside every day unless it's –30 — something she says is only possible because her students have proper outdoor clothing.

"It's kind of magical. It's also a chance for them to explore forces of nature and physics, to get their balance on the ice and in the mud, and also just to develop appreciation for the outdoor environment."

I use part of my budget to buy second-hand boots.- Dennie Fornwald, teacher

She says she expects children will occasionally come to school without proper outdoor wear such as rubber boots, so she always makes sure there are extras on hand.

"I use part of my budget to buy second-hand boots. I always have extra socks around."

"The parents have been great about sending extra clothes in their backpack and no one has complained about the extra laundry," Fornwald added.

Fornwald is past president of the Saskatchewan Outdoor Environmental Education Association (SOEEA), which works to get people outside to explore the natural world safely and respectfully.

The group's Growing Up WILD Program encourages teachers to take their elementary school students outside to explore wildlife and nature. 


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