We did it! Thank you so much to all the incredible friends, families and strangers who helped us on the way! We are seriously in awe and in honour of your generosity of spirit. Together we are transforming how children learn! Watch for updates, progress and pictures at OutdoorKindergarten.ca!
Click the gallery tab above to watch all our media interviews, and see pics of senior kindergarten graduation!
We're Canada's first public outdoor kindergarten program, where children play and learn outside, regardless of the weather. In four years, we've established an incredible inquiry education-based program, founded on the work of our phenomenal teachers and our firm belief in the merits of outdoor education. In fact, we're a demonstration classroom where teachers come to from all over the world to learn. But if you've watched our video, you know that our classroom is mostly concrete! Equinox Outdoor Kindergarten needs a naturalized outdoor space–especially as we kick off full-day kindergarten this year.
Equinox is proud to be Canada's first public outdoor kindergarten and a Toronto District School Board (TDSB*) school. Each year, dozens of teachers from around the region and the world visit to learn more about our pioneering program. Like others who have come to observe this demonstration classroom, they discover an amazing program that reflects a growing body of research proving what many of us intuitively know–children benefit tremendously from learning and playing outdoors.
Equinox's outdoor kindergarten classroom will be transformed into a magical discovery area, complete with woodland gardens, a water garden, sandbox, miniature streams, stepping stones and a variety of trees.
- Our first step is removing the concrete and setting the foundation. About $13,000 will be allocated to general site preparation, permits and drainage.
- Next we'll be adding the new natural surface, shade coverage and awning. That has been quoted at an estimated $9,000.
- With the remaining $3,000, we'll start on the installation of native plants, trees and garden features. (Check out our perks for some of the awesome elements you can sponsor!)
If we're fortunate enough to exceed our initial goal, we'll use the additional funds to create a living willow structure and mixed material basket centre, and install a water play area. Building a naturalized educational environment is our way of leaving a green legacy for all of the students to come, and our way to serve as a model for urban schools around the world.
Together we can change the face of education, so that every child can play, learn and grow with nature. And it all starts with you.
Please make a donation–big or small–today.
Plan for the happiest kid come September with the coolest lunch box on the schoolyard! We love that they're PVC, phthalate and BPA-free with a removable leak-proof insulated lining; little ones will love the big-kid messenger and backpack straps. Hurry! You can choose any colour, but quantities are limited!
HOW CUTE WOULD YOUR LITTLE ONE LOOK IN THESE?
Donate now to claim a pair of the world's best PJs, made right here in Canada by OM home. And of course you'll receive an exclusive video from the kids thanking you for your help building the new classroom. Hurry! Quantities are limited for this exclusive perk.
All perks will be fulfilled following the close of the campaign. Contributors who make a $100 or $500 donation will then be contacted to submit the name they would like to be engraved.
*Equinox Outdoor Kindergarten Committee does not reflect the views or opinions of the TDSB. If you have more questions, feedback, or other suggestions of how you can help, we'd love to hear from you.
We thank all of our generous supporters for their time and contributions.
Does Equinox Outdoor Public Kindergarten follows the Ontario curriculum?
Yes, the Outdoor Kindergarten is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and follows all curriculum requirements, including those for early literacy and math. The inquiry-based educational model followed focuses on natural curiousity and nature as the springboard for all learning, and the importance of oral narrative and storytelling tradition.
Do the children really go outside all winter?
Yes! Unless it's a severe weather condition, the children are outside. The key is to dress appropriately and keep moving. Of course, on the coldest days it's difficult for little hands to eat, and we come inside for snack time, rest, and other activities. The teachers respond to the needs of the children, and the transition to full-day in the fall will accomodate and indoor, early afternoon rest period.