Professional Development Opportunities

Resources

ONGOING

Nature-Based Early Childhood Courses

January, Spring, and Summer Semesters at Antioch University, New England

The Nature Pre-School and Forest Kindergarten movement has been thriving in Europe for the last three decades and has recently taken root in the United States.  Currently, there is a lack of professional development, training, leadership, in this new field of nature-based early childhood education.  The Education Department at Antioch New England is initiating a new program to train teachers, administrators and founders of Nature Pre-Schools and Forest Kindergartens commencing in summer 2013. 
 

Project Learning Tree Early Childhood Workshops

Held throughout the country. Search webpage by state and by type (Early Childhood).

Project Learning Tree educator workshops are open to anyone, held at convenient times, and are offered for free or at a nominal charge. These workshops are designed to help you learn how to incorporate PLT activities into your current and future programming; meet other local professionals interested or already involved in environmental education; become part of a network that offers you follow-up resources and opportunities, and learn about environmental education.
 

Nebraska Growing Up WILD Workshops

Held throughout Nebraska for early childhood educators.  Scroll down and search for Growing Up WILD.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. During the training workshop participants will sample activities and receive a curriculum and activity guide. 

 

Illinois Project Learning Tree Early Childhood Workshops

Held throughout Illinois for early childhood educators.

PLT Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood includes over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration and is specifically designed for educators who work with children ages three to six. During the training workshop participants will sample activities and receive a curriculum and activity guide along with accompanying music CD.

 

Illinois Growing Up WILD Early Childhood Workshops

Held throughout Illinois for early childhood educators.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. During the training workshop participants will sample activities and receive a curriculum and activity guide.

 

Consulting Children:  Claire Warden's Interactive Online Courses

Available online for early childhood educators.

Claire Warden presents a selection of bite-sized online training through video, practical steps and downloads. These accessible courses take approximately one hour to complete providing quality, inspirational ideas, motivation, improved practice, and value for your money. There are 5 live courses now available including Floorbooks, Floorbooks and the Brain, Floorbooks and Talk, Nature Pedagogy and Risk It!

 

Nature Explore Workshops for Educators

Held throughout the country for adults who work with children.

Engaging, inspiring research-based Nature Explore educator workshops support comprehensive learning with nature. Designed for adults who work with children in many ways (from schools, to early childhood programs, to environmental education programs), each hands-on Nature Explore Workshop is offered regionally, or may be scheduled at your own site.

 

Kindergarten Teacher Training and Certification

Held monthly at Cedarsong Nature School on Vashon Island, Washington

As nature-based preschools and forest kindergartens become more popular, it is important that we maintain standards of excellence for this model. This 20-hour teacher training course prepares you to be the best forest kindergarten teacher or director possible.

2018

October

October 22, 2018 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.
October 24, 2018
Agnes Gray Elementary School
West Paris, ME
Maine Audubon will be presenting a Growing Up WILD workshop at Agnes Gray Elementary School, West Paris, Maine. This in-depth 4-hour workshop is designed to provide training for early childhood educators. Growing Up WILD is an education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills.
October 27, 2018
The Children's Tree House at NCTC
Shepherdstown, WV
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. Professional development certificate provided at the conclusion of the event. Please dress for the weather, as at least 50% of this event will take place outdoors, and don't forget your canteen! In addition to a fantastic roster of presenters, our hosts at the Children's Tree House at the National Conservation Training Center provide a tour of their nature-based childcare center and Nature Explore certified outdoor classroom.
October 27, 2018
All Seasons Preschool
Inver Grove Heights, MN
Preschool thru 3rd grade educators are invited to join us for our 5th MN Early Childhood Outdoors networking event at All Seasons Preschool in Inver Grove Heights, MN (http://www.allseasonspreschool.net). This event is FREE and all are welcome!
October 27, 2018
Symonds Elementary School
Keene, NH
Join us for this day-long conference for educators who are redefining what’s possible in elementary education. As we build school programs around place-based social studies, outdoor science lessons, Forest Fridays and more, we’re connecting children to the natural world, local communities and big ideas.
October 27, 2018
Children's Tree House at the National Conservation Training Center
​Shepherdstown, WV
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. Lunch is included on Saturday, but bring your canteen for drinks.

November

November 19, 2018 to March 25, 2019
Toronto, Canada,
Explore how story-telling and games connect children to nature. Reflect on your experiences, and learn approaches and language that will help you build support for your outdoor practice with fellow educators and parents. There are two 2018-2018 workshops to choose from.

December

December 8, 2018
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver, CO
In this object based inquiry class, participants will engage with interesting collection items from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and also meet many of the Colorado Competencies and help student practice kindergarten readiness skills in all content areas, especially literacy.
December 10, 2018 to 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.
2019

February

February 23, 2019
Elachee Nature Science Center
Gainesville, GA
Another fantastic nature-based training awaits! Gather as we share best practices in nature-based ECE and learn from presenters across the region. Bring a song in your pocket for the campfire and rain-or-shine gear for outdoor learning. Professional development certificate provided, plus breakfast and lunch. And don't forget your canteen!

March

March 5, 2019 to March 17, 2019
Miami Nature Play School
Miami, FL
The Natural Wonder Summit is a very special gathering. More than straightforward conference, the Summit is an event for nature-based early childhood practitioners who want to recharge and celebrate! Feel the energy and kinship offered by others who have the same goals as you. Our keynote is none other than David Sobel, noted educator, researcher, and author. This year's summit has a special emphasis on bilingual programs. We are offering sessions in English y en Espanol! We will also welcome families and children to a portion of the summit designed as a pop-up nature play space. This will provide a wonderful example for attendees to see how nature play can unfold anywhere!

April

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!