Feature Stories

Natural Start Alliance

August 2015

Christy Merrick

What do you get when you bring together nearly 100 nature-based educators, put them in a beautiful setting, and give them the tools to tell their stories? The Nature-Based Preschool National Conference! See highlights from 2015.

Photo by Kit Harrington

July 2015

Kit Harrington

Fairy villages are well known for inspiring wonder in children, but they're often overlooked as an educational tool. From helping children develop fine motor skills to promoting cooperation, communication, and teamwork, these villages for very small people offer big educational benefits.

June 2015

Rachel A. Larimore

Author and Nature Preschool Director Rachel A. Larimore shares her summer adventures on Claire Warden's Scotland study tour of nature kindergartens.

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

May 2015

Catherine Koons Hubbard

Preschool teacher Catherine Koons Hubbard reflects on perfect autumn days spent outside painting with children.

Photo by Kevin Shoban for CuriOdyssey

April 2015

Rachel Gauza

The Walt Disney Company is supporting a major new effort to connect families to nature through zoos and aquariums. New grants for nature play programs will be available soon.

Fiddleheads Forest School

March 2015

Sarah Heller

Fiddleheads Forest School has developed an internship program that it is helping student teachers, children, educators, and families. Learn how they're doing it, and how you can, too.

February 2015

Jana Willis, Brenda Weiser, and Donna Kirkwood

By integrating the two seemingly opposed areas of nature and technology, we can create an opportunity for young children to become both environmentally and technologically literate.

North Park Village Nature Center

January 2015

Sean Shaffer

In the heart of Chicago, a small nature center has taken a big leap into providing space for unstructured nature play for city residents.

Photo by Tina Pretzer

December 2014

Rachel A. Larimore

Responding to parent demand, Chippewa Nature Center's Nature Preschool has partnered with the local school district to bring nature-based classrooms to public kindergartens.

Photo by Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

November 2014

Patty Born Selly

Children have a biological connection to living things that can be fostered in early care and education settings. A growing body of research shows that children who are supported in their love for animals tend to generalize that love to other living things, such as plants and nature.