Nature Preschools

Nature preschools are a growing trend in education, and Natural Start is happy to support the role they play in developing happy, healthy children. If you are a nature preschool or want to help support the work they do, join our Alliance to help this movement grow. 


Nature-Based Preschool Professional Practice Guidebook

The first resource in the United States to provide guidance on the unique professional practices of nature-based early childhood education is now available! Intended for teachers, administrators, policy makers, and parents, the Guidebook is an essential resource for anyone interested in nature-based early childhood education. Learn about the Guidebook and its applications to your practice, download the introduction and summary, or purchase a copy on Amazon.

 

 
 

Council of Nature and Forest Preschools

Nature-based education professionals in the Natural Start Alliance are working together to support the growth and development of nature and forest preschools through the Council of Nature and Forest Preschools. If you'd like to take on a leadership role in the field, work closely with other nature-based education leaders, and help accelerate the growth and development of the field of nature-based early childhood education, consider joining the Council today. This is an all-volunteer effort that is supported by the Natural Start Alliance.

 

 

Member Spotlight

Elements Preschool was created to provide children living in the heart of NYC with daily access to nature and nature-based activities and education. Read more

Image credit: Best Day Ever movie

Feature Story

The recently published "A Forest Days Handbook" demonstrates that young children can learn their letters and numbers AND get stronger, healthier, and more resilient in a nature-based learning environment. Read more

Bright Idea

Nature-based preschools and kindergartens continue to rise in popularity in the United States. A national survey of nature-based early childhood educators conducted in 2017 identified more than 250 nature preschools and forest kindergartens operating across the country. Read more

Bright Idea

A recent evaluation report on the Forest Days initiative in Vermont and New Hampshire schools finds that programs not only support academic learning but also offer social, emotional, physical, and community benefits to participants. Read more

Feature Story

Nature-based education is, by definition, place-based education. And no matter where we are, when we enter into a classroom, we bring our place, and the history of that place, with us. Read more

Member Spotlight

An E-STEM public school district near Minneapolis now also offers half-day nature preschool programs. We were naturally curious to find out more! We asked Anna Dutke, Nature Preschool Teacher and the programs’ developer, to share with us the impetus behind the programs and any advice she gives to new teachers. Read more

Feature Story

Are you considering opening a nature-based preschool? Here are some ideas for thinking through the programmatic decisions you will need to make. Read more

Feature Story

Business planning consultant David Catlin shares what it takes to develop a business plan for a nature preschool that can take you from a great idea to a successful school. Read more

Peter Dargatz

Member Spotlight

Peter Dargatz is a nature kindergarten teacher at Woodside Elementary, a public school in Sussex, Wisconsin Read more

Lia Johnson

Member Spotlight

We sat down with Lia Johnson, the founder and director of Little Tree Huggers, the first bilingual eco-green preschool in Leesburg, Virginia. Read more

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