Events

April 8, 2019 to May 27, 2019
Toronto, Canada,
Dive into ‘loose parts play,’ nature games, and storytelling that you can use right away. Explore creative and cost-effective approaches to setting up your outdoor nature play space. We can help you make it happen! There are six 2018–2019 one-day workshops to choose from.
April 23, 2019 to April 26, 2019
Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield, IL
NatureStart™ is a professional development program that trains informal educators in museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers, along with other professionals who interact with young children and families, to develop and facilitate early childhood nature play programs, create play settings for nature-based early learning, and engage and interact with young children and their families to foster lifelong connections with nature.
April 23, 2019 to May 3, 2019
Scotland and England,
Join us for the first UK Forest School Study Tour offered by ERAFANS! We will visit several nature-based early learning programs in Scotland and England during our adventurous 10-day trip. This study tour takes place during the school year so that we can observe children and UK practitioners engaged in outdoor learning. We will also participate in professional development workshops offered by select nature-based programs. Don't worry, we've built in some time for you to explore on your own, too!
April 26, 2019
Duluth, MN
We invite you to attend a research symposium focused on early childhood outdoor play at the University of MN Duluth, from noon to 3:30 PM on Friday, April 26th. The event will include lunch, presentations, and discussion about international perspectives on outdoor play in early childhood learning and development. Four researchers will highlight research and programs from China (Anji Childhood Education Research Center); University of Oulu, Finland; Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education, Norway; and the Duluth Nature Play Collaborative/University of MN Duluth in Minnesota. We are looking forward to an engaging afternoon of lectures and dialogue with other researchers and practitioners in the field of outdoor and nature-based play and learning. The day following the research symposium (Sat. April 27) will be a practitioner-oriented workshop, hosted by Duluth Nature Play Collaborative and MN Early Childhood Outdoors. RSVP by Friday, March 1 to Aaron Crowell ([email protected])
April 27, 2019
Teton Science Schools
Jackson, WY
This In Mud workshop is co-sponsored with the Teton Science School. Check back for more information coming soon.
April 27, 2019
Wild Rock
Crozet, VA
Discover ways that nature-based learning enhances skill development during a hands-on day of training! Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3-6 years old. Also includes a tour of our host's nature-based preschool program. Light breakfast and lunch are included. We will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event, too. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!
April 27, 2019
Wildrock, 6600 Blackwells Hollow Rd
Crozet, VA
You can expect a hands-on day of outdoor fun in nature! Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3-6 years old. Light breakfast and lunch are included on Saturday, but bring your canteen for drinks.In addition to interactive workshops, our hosts at the Wildrock offer an informal tour of their center and grounds over lunch. Presented by ERAFANS.
April 27, 2019
Kittery Community Center
Kittery, ME
This year we’re expanding our focus from pre-school & Kindergarten to pre-school through 3rd grade in response to the many 1st through 3rd grade teachers who are moving their curriculum out into the woods and fields around their schools. We’ll be working with the vibrant nature-based early childhood community in Maine. We look forward to a lovely warm spring day to celebrate the end of Earth Week! This conference has always filled to capacity, so plan to register early.
May 1, 2019
Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, IL
Inspiring Nature Play is an annual conference geared toward enabling access to developmentally appropriate nature play experiences for an early childhood audience (birth through age 8). Attendees of the conference include 200 formal and informal educators, administrators, and parents with a range of early childhood and environmental education backgrounds and expertise.
May 4, 2019 to May 5, 2019
Asheville, NC
Reaching Nature Connection invites you to join in an exciting weekend of hands-on, research-based, and anecdotal learning. As always, the outdoor conference will be infused with songs, games, stories, and deeper nature connection. With this year's conference theme, Storytelling, presenters Lia Grippo, Kelly Villarruel, and Erin Boehme will take participants on a storytelling journey to develop capacities for using stories as effective teaching tools for nature connection & beyond. ​
May 6, 2019 to May 10, 2019
Johnston Woods Retreat Center
Cleveland, TN 37353
Johnston Woods is home to Woodsong Forest School which will serve as the main lab school for this training session, along with visits to local public and private school FK programs. Participants will enjoy comfortable lodging in the midst of a spectacular forest setting. Please see course descriptions at www.forestteacher.org for more details. Training cohort limited to 20 participants. Application deadline is 4/30.
May 16, 2019 to May 18, 2019
Oakland, CA
Join us for the largest gathering of children and nature advocates in the world. From inspiring keynotes to hands-on workshops, our biennial conference will inspire and equip you with best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for the children, families and communities you serve. Select from seven dynamic conference tracks and come prepared to network with nature connection leaders from around the world.
May 18, 2019
Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary
Mattapan, MA
Discover ways that nature-based learning enhances skill development during a hands-on day of training! Presenters share insights and activities based on their work in nature preschools, forest kindergartens, or other nature-based programs. Training is ideal for educators working with children ages 3-8 years old. Also includes a tour of our host's Pathways to Nature Preschool and plenty of time to explore the wildlife sanctuary and grounds. Light breakfast and lunch are included. We will provide a professional development certificate at the conclusion of the event, too. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen!
May 22, 2019 to May 24, 2019
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Tampa, FL
NatureStart™ is a professional development program that trains informal educators in museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers, along with other professionals who interact with young children and families, to develop and facilitate early childhood nature play programs, create play settings for nature-based early learning, and engage and interact with young children and their families to foster lifelong connections with nature.
June 1, 2019
Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum
Lisle, IL 60532
The Northern Illinois Nature Preschool Association (NINPA), in conjunction with the Wisconsin Nature-based Early Childhood Association (WiNBECA) and The Morton Arboretum, is holding a symposium to bring together early childhood educators, administrators, and naturalists who are interested in nature-based learning and want to build on their current skill set while they learn about new ideas and trends in the field. Keynote speaker will be Christy Merrick, Special Projects Advisor at the Natural Start Alliance. Christy launched NAAEE’s Natural Start Alliance in 2013, and is now working with education leaders to develop a common set of practices for high-quality nature-based preschool programs in the United States.
June 2, 2019 to June 5, 2019
Long Beach, CA
Rachel Larimore, Founder of Samara Early Learning, will be presenting a concurrent session, titled “Learning beyond walls: Integrating nature into the preschool classroom” at NAEYC’s Professional Learning Institute June 2-5, 2019 in Long Beach, California. She will also be joining Gryphon House, publisher of her new book (Preschool Beyond Walls: Blending Early Childhood Education and Nature-Based Learning) in the Exhibit Hall. Conference registration is required to attend these presentations. Click here to register! Also, please check the conference program for session times and locations.
June 8, 2019
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Amherst, MA
This year we’re expanding our focus from pre-school & Kindergarten to pre-school through 3rd grade in response to the many 1st through 3rd grade teachers who are moving their curriculum out into the woods and fields around their schools. Join us at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment where we are confident that the clematis, iris, peonies, AND dandelions will all be in bloom!
June 10, 2019
Toronto, Canada,
Get ready to go deep in assessing the benefits of risk in the outdoors and how to build adventure into your day. Learn how to use tools with children, and how you can incorporate risk benefit assessment into daily routines. There are two 2018-2019 workshops to choose from.
June 10, 2019 to June 14, 2019
Prescott College
Prescott, AZ
Join us this summer for 5 days of inspiring and hands-on professional development in beautiful Prescott, Arizona on the Prescott College campus. Collaborate with a passionate and diverse group of ECE educators (birth-age 8) from all over the country, at the annual early childhood educator Nature & Place-Based Summer Institute.
June 10, 2019 to June 13, 2019
Chippewa Nature Center
Midland, MI
Samara Early Learning owner, Rachel Larimore, will once again be joining the staff of Chippewa Nature Center's Nature Preschool in facilitating this four-day workshop. The Institute allows preschool educators to see the teachers and students in action (three of the four mornings) while also learning about the philosophy and nature-based teaching practices. You'll walk away with the information and skills to incorporate nature-based concepts into daily preschool routines while maintaining the integrity of their best practice curriculum.
June 22, 2019
Carrie Murray Nature Center
Baltimore, MD
This day-long event is a great primer to help you start your nature-based preschool, childcare, or home-school program. We will discuss a range of topics including business structures, staffing/hiring, curriculum development, insurance, enrollment procedures, partnering with other organizations, and more. We will invite you to submit three questions during registration so we can tailor our presenters specifically to your needs. Breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack will be provided. Most of the session will take place outdoors, so please dress for the weather and bring a canteen.
June 24, 2019 to August 9, 2019
CA
The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers offers high quality, experiential, in-depth training and certification for current and up and coming early childhood educators dedicated to connecting children with Nature. In order to build a strong foundation in developmentally appropriate practices, deep nature connection and naturalist skills, we provide an active, engaging, and transformational curriculum. The Academy's comprehensive teacher training program provides our students with the theoretical, practical skills, knowledge, and magic to become exceptional educators and mentors in the field. --The Foundation Course ~ Level 1 (open to beginners as well as seasoned teachers/naturalists) June 24 - July 5, 2019 / Bishop, CA OR ​July 15 - 26, 2019 / Santa Barbara, CA --The Metamorphic Course ~ Level 2 (open to graduates of Level 1) July 29 - August 9, 2019 / Santa Barbara, CA
July 8, 2019 to July 12, 2019
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The introductory certification course covers a range of skills and approaches crucial to implementing nature-based early childhood pedagogy.
July 8, 2019 to August 2, 2019
North Branch Nature Center
Montpelier, VT
The ECO Institute provides week-long, nature immersion courses for teachers, assistants, and administrators. The Institute is inquiry-based, outdoor learning through intensive experiential lessons, activities, and discussions. Led by NBNC staff and veteran public-school teachers, participants will move beyond the classroom and engage with nature as a learning partner. Participants will develop a nature pedagogy and learn to incorporate VELS, NGSS, and Common Core into their design of nature immersion curricula. You can choose from three weeks: July 8-12; July 15-19; July 29-Aug 2
July 15, 2019 to July 19, 2019
Waldorf School of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The intermediate course is intended for participants who have already completed the intro credential. During the registration process, you have the opportunity to include special topics for deeper study.
July 15, 2019 to August 24, 2019
Hamline University
St Paul, MN
Graduate Continuing Studies Online course--Instructor: Sheila Williams Ridge. Introducing children to nature at a young age is one of the best ways to foster a sense of wonder and stewardship for the natural world. It has also been shown to boost learning and reduce behavior issues in the classroom. Review different ways to integrate nature and the outdoors into the classroom. Evaluate readings, discuss current research, make observations and develop programs or tools of your own. Target audience: non-formal and formal educators K-6. Online login and course information at www.hamline.edu/education/online
July 21, 2019 to July 24, 2019
Lied Lodge and Conference Center
Nebraska City, NE
New ideas, new connections and new inspirations are waiting for you at the 2019 Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute: Sustaining Ourselves, Sustaining Our Work, Sustaining Our World. Enjoy a great mix of hands-on sessions, discussion groups, nature-based experiences and inspiring social times. Discover new ways to keep your work fresh and growing such as innovative uses of loose parts (and you’ll get to create with them yourselves) and out-of-the-box thinking on appropriate ways to use technology in nature (yes, it really can be done). Gain engaging new ideas for renewing yourself in mind, body and spirit through nature connections. Learn inspiring, yet practical ideas for sustaining our world through practices such as permaculture. Join with our growing network and treat yourself to a time of rest, reflection and rejuvenation that will reinvigorate you for your professional journey.
July 31, 2019 to August 3, 2019
700 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03101
The Natural Start Alliance's annual conference is the nation's largest professional event for teaching, administration, research, and advocacy in nature-based early learning. Join us on July 31-August 3, 2019, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire for engaging presentations, experiential workshops, site tours, and professional networking with 400 nature-based early childhood professionals from around the country and beyond.
August 7, 2019 to August 10, 2019
Juniper Hill School
Alna, ME
Teaching with Nature: An Introduction to Forest Kindergartens is a 4-day summer workshop taught primarily by the school’s founder and director, Anne Stires. Local naturalists and additional teachers are highlighted for key activities and concepts. The workshop will provide participants with a strong baseline from which to delve deeper into outdoor- and community-based schooling for prekindergarten- and kindergarten-aged children. Teaching with Nature is designed as a pre-cursor to Antioch University’s Nature-Based Early Childhood Certificate program.
August 12, 2019 to August 16, 2019
Wildflower Learning Community
Chapel Hill, NC
We are thrilled to offer a five-day Nature-based Teacher Certification! This 36-hour course provides in-depth study of best practices in nature-based early childhood education to prepare you for meaningful outdoor learning experiences. Whether you are in a formal school or childcare setting or working in a nature or forest preschool, this course is designed to meet the needs of early childhood educators working in any setting. The introductory certification course covers a range of skills and approaches crucial to implementing nature-based early childhood pedagogy.
October 5, 2019 to October 6, 2019
Boston, MA
The theme of this 2-day conference is "Back in Boston," where the original Kindergarten Movement began almost exactly 150 years ago. Attendees will experience hands-on exploration of Froebel Gifts and Occupations guided by teachers (including Rachel Larimore) who have integrated these methods/materials into public, private, parochial and home-school K-12 educational classrooms. Early bird rates through March 31st!