In Praise of Play: Activities for Children and Families in Rural Communities
Children in rural America struggle to find time and space to play. How can rural families add more play into their children’s lives without needing a playground?
More than Mud Pies: Make a Mud Kitchen Master Class
More than Mud Pies: Making a Mud Kitchen is a fun exploration of how to use mud as a teaching tool and create your own one-of-a-kind Mud Kitchen. In this Master Class, you will: Let go of the traditional ways of teaching and find freedom with Mud Play. Make your own one-of-a-kind Mud Kitchen that sparks your children’s imaginations and engages their creative thinking. Discover and implement different ways to teach children math, science, and art using mud. Invite open-ended play and support child development in your outdoor classroom. Enjoy happy, engaged, healthy and curious children. By the end of this Master Class, your hesitation and questions about letting your children learn in the mud will be gone and you’ll be eager to jump in too!
We're constantly looking for great resources for our members. Below is a complete list of the resources we've gathered so far. You can select the types of resources you're looking for. To select more than one type of resource, hold the control button while you make your selections.
These nature play signs and t-shirts are visual ways to spread the word about the importance of connecting children to nature.
Wild Play is David Sobel’s inspiring guide for all parents who seek to help their children bond with the natural world. Through this family’s experiences, we observe how free play in nature hones a sense of wonder, provides healthy challenges, and nurtures earth stewardship. “Parents need to support kids’ access to independent outdoor play,” says Sobel. “Of course they should use judgment, but the benefits outweigh the risks.”
Today a basic understanding of environmental issues has become essential to our daily lives. A professor of biological sciences and author of the American ecology classic Keith County Journal, John Janovy, Jr. provides a primer in environmental issues. In 20 ten-minute lessons Janovy gives readers plain, non-threatening answers to the most basic environmental questions, such as: What is an ecosystem? How many is too many? Why is the Arctic so fragile? Essential reading!
Foster your child’s innate sense of imagination, wonder, and curiosity with the A Child’s World Curriculum written by Leah McDermott. You and your Pre-K/K children can dive into the most comprehensive and exciting activities designed for open-ended exploration, creativity, and high-quality learning with more than a year’s worth of themes (21 total), to cover all of your child’s growing interests!
A Parents' Guide to Nature Play: How to Give Your Children More Outdoor Play ...and Why You Should! In 20 concise pages you can learn about what makes great nature play, why it is important, and how you can restore it to your children’s daily lives. Written by Ken Finch at Green Hearts INC.
For over two decades, Acorn Naturalists has focused on developing and distributing resources that nurture curiosity about the natural world. Selections provide teachers, outdoor educators, naturalists, parents, and others with unique, effective educational resources.
This book from the Alliance for Childhood's Joan Almon is an exploration of why children need adventurous play and how they successfully cope with it through risk-assessment.
These three films look at the benefits of time spent outdoors, each focusing on a specific age group. Each concentrates on a year in children's lives - 0 to 12 months, 12 to 24 months and 24 to 36 months. The films are divided into sections as children of gradually increasing ages are watched going about their work outside. The commentary explains what's happening from the child's point of view.
New England campus offers workshops for EC professionals and students on topics of interest in ECEE. The university plans to create a certificate program and a concentration in nature-based early childhood education for M. Ed. candidates, and eventually expand programs to surrounding communities, and eventually to other campuses.
Help centers create nature-based outdoor spaces or classrooms by offering workshops, design consultations, and certification programs. Also sell natural play materials for use in outdoor classrooms and provide resources for families.
A comprehensive, color-photo-illustrated guidebook to creating living schoolyards, authored by Sharon Gamson Danks. Case studies from North America, Scandinavia, Japan, and Great Britain demonstrate natural outdoor teaching environments that support hand-on learning in science, math, language, and art in ways that nurture healthy imagination and socialization.
Awakening Creativity shows in gloriously illustrated detail how artist Lily Yeh guides a participatory process for teachers, students, and a community in transforming an abandoned factory into a beautiful school for the children of migrant workers on the outskirts of Beijing China. Yeh's open, joyful approach is a model for building healthy cultural esteem.
This InfoSheet discusses the benefits of connecting children to nature and presents examples of simple ways to naturalize outdoor learning environments in childcare centers.
Since 1977 Bill Brennan (a.k.a. “Billy B.”) has electrified children, parents, and teachers alike with his exciting, unique style of combining environmental education and entertainment. Billy B., a trained educator turned performer, uses songs and dances which he writes and choreographs himself to teach children of all ages about the wonders of natural science, ecology and the environment.
This book offers a paradigm shift in how we design and build our buildings and our communities, one that recognizes that the positive experience of natural systems and processes in our buildings and constructed landscapes is critical to human health, performance, and well-being. Biophilic design is about humanity's place in nature and the natural world's place in human society, where mutuality, respect, and enriching relationships can and should exist at all levels and should emerge as the norm rather than the exception.