Bienenstock will come to your school and work with you and your students outdoors. We will focus on creating simple outdoor solutions that create a place of mastery for children of all ages.


Nature Play Day

Mentorship Training with Jill Bienenstock
Nature Play Day offers a professional development package on-site that adds children into the mix. Our mentorship program allows educators to witness the simplicity and benefits of providing tools, loose parts, and provocations in their playground into real learning experiences. Promoting the benefits of outdoor unstructured free play while providing coaching in context has been a successful mix that allows even the biggest skeptic to become an advocate for outdoor play all year long.

Staff can expect the following:

  • An introduction to using real tools to support outdoor unstructured free play.
  • Fun ideas for nature play that our educators can easily implement.
  • An overview of natural materials, such as seasonal loose parts, as provocations for outdoor learning.
  • New ways of using our playground components to encourage healthy child development.
  • An introduction to activities that support how weather can be the ultimate loose part all year long.

Childcare Schedule

Mentorship training involves an evening workshop with staff (6:30 – 8 pm), followed by a practical morning workshop with both children and staff the next day. (7:00 – 1:30 pm)

Session #1:
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Evening workshop with staff detailing how to support Outdoor Unstructured Free Play. We will focus on streamlining your loose parts and tools to support outdoor play opportunities for all age groups.

Session #2:
7 am – 8:30 am
Outdoor areas are set up with loose parts and tools to support child-led play for toddler and preschooler playgrounds.

8:30 am -11:30 am
Bienenstock team coaches educators while using the outdoor space(s) with cohorts. The centre creates the schedule. 60- 90 minute sessions are preferred with each group.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Clean up

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Debrief of the morning with Jill (optional for staff who can attend)

Mud Kitchen
  • Messy Play
  • Messy Play
  • Loose Parts
  • Sand Area


Book a Field Trip with Bienenstock at your School

Bienenstock educators will come to your school and work with your students outdoors for 100 minutes. The focus is on creating a variety of opportunities with loose parts and tools in your playground to support outdoor unstructured free play and delivering small group lessons. This winning combination provides a place of mastery for your students while supporting curriculum expectations and the four frames (belonging, engagement, expression, and well-being).

Bienenstock educators are at your school for a full day. Please have 3 classes book 100 minute sessions throughout the day

Please choose one of the following lessons:

Whittling with Vegetable Peelers

Children can whittle freshly cut sticks with a vegetable peeler. Children can make rulers, mud pencils, and stick people.


  1. Increase focus and attention when using a new tool.
  2. Retelling stories with the creation of stick people.
  3. Using the whittled stick as a measurement tool to support standard and non-standardized units of measurement.
  4. Increase grasp and fine motor skills when whittling and drawing with their mud pencil. When using a new tool children will be shown how to hold the handle, where the sharp parts are, and how it works to ensure safety.

ReUsing Your Christmas Trees

Discarded Christmas trees are amazing loose parts during the winter months. They provide sensory rich, heavy work opportunities that support creativity, social skills, language development and problem-solving. The children can work together to make forts with discarded christmas trees with the support of sticks, burlap and real tools.


  1. Understanding the sensory opportunities available when using Christmas trees in your playground. Immediately, it engages touch smell, sound, sight as well as heavy work opportunities by just exploring the tree and moving it around the playground.
  2. Identifying the many developmental opportunities included in this activity. This activity supports motor, creative, language math, science, and engineering skills,; something for everyone!
  3. Learning how to introduce real tools to your class. Participants will learn how to introduce a saw safely and successfully.

Water Walls

Children can work together to create a water wall with tubing and connectors on your chain link fence. There will be construction challenges and coloured water to increase learning opportunities. There’s so much potential in such a simple activity.


  1. Math skills include sorting and measuring opportunities, plus reinforcing angles, and fractions.
  2. Science skills include flow concepts regarding speed and direction of the water. Filter concepts of cleaning the coloured water with provided natural materials.
  3. Working together and problem-solving the water wall challenges.
  4. Presenting their water wall to the group.

Stone Stories

Children can create and/or retell their favourite story by drawing pictures and printing words on flat, smooth stones and paint markers. It’s a great way to bring language arts to your playground.

Stories can reinforce concepts from the classroom or trigger from the events outside.


  1. Presenting and retelling stories.
  2. Reinforcing the ‘start’, ‘middle’ and ‘end’ of stories; intro, body, and conclusion’.
  3. Supporting fine motor skills.

Clay Creatures

Children can make a clay creature with a ball of clay and loose parts collected from the playground. The children can describe the attributes of their creature; what it eats, what it looks like, where it lives, and any other special feature.


  1. Math and science skills include sorting, counting, and estimating the collected loose parts from the playground. Loose parts include sticks, pinecones, acorns, stones, and leaves.
  2. Motor skills are promoted when children collect the loose parts and during the creation of their clay creature.
  3. Literacy skills are supported when children create a story about your clay creature.
Mud Kitchen
  • Stone Stories
  • Fall Workshop
  • Stone Stories
  • Messy Play