Spring Comes to Foothills

“The children are eagerly planting strawberries, tomatoes, banana peppers, bell peppers, Asian lettuce, eggplants, and ornamental red and white cabbage … The apricot tree in the garden is waking up from a long winter’s nap. Our artists are painting what they see, and their artwork is hanging in the tree! What a beautiful sight for moms and dads to see!” — From Ms. Val’s Outdoor Classroom Blog



See pictures on Ms. Val’s blog (FMS Parents only).

Rocks, Sand And Water

Students are having a wonderful time in the Outdoor Classroom, as usual. January activities included painting river rocks and making rock dominoes (learning math skills in the process); working with sand and water; and working as “veterinarians.”


See more pictures on the Outdoor Classroom blog, and don’t forget to subscribe! (FMS Parents only).

Healthy Habits, Happy Children

When elementary teacher April Dane noticed the cupcakes and brownies piling up week after week, she knew something had to change. “We were having store bought brownies and cupcakes with pink frosting almost every day,” she says, referring to the treats brought in to celebrate the students’ birthdays. While she appreciated that parents were generous enough to bring in treats, she was getting concerned about her students’ health. At the same time, she had noticed her students’ enthusiasm for the outdoor classroom and courtyard gardens, and that some were showing an interest in anatomy.

“I wanted to bring more of an understanding to the children,” she says. “It was about incorporating nutrition lessons and learning about the human body and eating healthy snacks and learning about vitamins and minerals and vegetables and fruits, and maybe using our gardens more. When the children could taste a pepper, or a tomato, and make salsa, they became so excited to see that process happen. I thought it would be great if we could do more — if we could have more choices, and more soil, and have the kids be more involved. I wanted them to be able to pick things from the garden to use in our cooking projects and coordinate that with our curriculum.”

Over the summer, she began reading about Alice Waters’ The Edible Schoolyard Project and doing more research into school gardens and integrating nutrition into school curricula. She went to the PTO with a proposal to expand the gardens in the back and in the front courtyard. Once she got the green light, the next step was to get staff and parents on board. At an August in-service, she invited FMS parent and naturopathic physician, Dr. Maria Cavalle, to speak about the importance of nutrition for growing children. After a couple of garden committee meetings this past month, several FMS Parents have volunteered to help with everything from building planter boxes to teaching cooking classes.

“In the back gardens, we are hoping for something peaceful that incorporates seasonal herbs and flowers, lemons and grapes, and possibly fruit trees. In the front we’ll do vegetables,” April continues. “The next step is to build planters in the front and pull out existing sprinklers so we can start planting.”

Primary, elementary and middle school students are learning about anatomy and the importance of adopting healthy habits. Middle school students recently helped assess and research best planting methods and helped get the courtyard gardens ready for expansion. E3 went to a local farmer’s market and made a Friendship Fruit Salad. And many classrooms are enjoying healthy birthday snacks such as whole wheat muffins, yogurt parfaits, bagels and fruit kebabs.

In E4, children choose a healthy cooking project on their birthday to make and share with their parents and the rest of the class. “Everyone was really excited,” says April. “The difference between last September and this September is amazing.”

Want to help? Email Ms. April at Together we can help our children to grow up healthy and happy!

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

Cadbury the Rabbit

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. — Anatole France

An FMS Parent has kindly gifted us with a wonderful new addition: a sweet and handsome rabbit named Cadbury. Cadbury is living the dream life in the outdoor classroom, eating lots of carrots and hay and snacking on basil leaves and fresh strawberries.


The students were taught to treat Cadbury with respect and gentleness, and they love to give him soft pets and feed him treats. They are becoming the best of friends!

Many flowers, fruits and vegetables are in full bloom, making it the perfect place for both students and rabbit. The students are also learning about carpenter bees and other insects who have made the garden their home, and we have even spotting a hummingbird’s nest! Hopefully we’ll catch a glimpse of the colorful bird soon.

Elsewhere on the FMS campus, E3 is planting a beautiful backyard garden, E5 is growing herbs such as chives, basil and spearmint in old chinese takeout boxes for an “upcycling” project, and E4 has planted a salsa garden, complete with tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro! We sure do love to be outdoors!

See more pictures of Cadbury and the children and the outdoor classroom here!


Ms. Val and Her Garden

“Children belong to nature, especially when they are young. Without the influence of nature the child misses an important basic instinct that is naturally a part of them. Keeping this in mind, we need to give our students as much exposure to their outdoor environment as possible.” — Ms. Val, FMS Outdoor Classroom Specialist

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Planting Flowers, Painting Rocks

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. — Albert Einstein

Spring is here! Okay, officially spring doesn’t start until March 20, but spring weather has come early to our outdoor classroom. Our beautiful trees are blossoming, and the students have been busy planting flowers, tomatoes, eggplants and all kinds of peppers!

Nature has also inspired artistic ventures such as our rock painting project. Our garden sure is coming to life — just in time for two new additions, CottonCandy and Cadbury. We are getting two new rabbits soon, and we hope they enjoy their new home!

Click below to see more pics!

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