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.
Helping your child's early brain development makes life easier for everybody. We give you ideas about how to play and interact with your children while you are completing your everyday tasks... it just makes life easier!
From "Baby Bumblebee" to "The Ants Go Marching," children will sing and learn about the insects they encounter in their own backyards. The enclosed CD features 21 fun songs-old favorites and originals-and the book offers more than 250 activities that help children appreciate the wonderful world of bugs.
Sustainable design has made great strides in recent years; unfortunately, it still falls short of fully integrating nature into our built environment. Through a groundbreaking new paradigm of "restorative environmental design," award-winning author Stephen R. Kellert proposes a new architectural model of sustainability.
Public discussions of global climate change and other threats to the planet are making children more aware of environmental issues. As increasing numbers of kids come to school wishing to take action, educators want to know how to teach in a way that fosters a love of nature and an understanding of the complexity and seriousness of these issues.
The Children and Nature Network offers a range of programs aimed at connecting children, families, and communities to nature. This organization is closely associated with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, and their site contains valuable research summaries, lots of ideas for ways that families can connect with nature, and more.
These abstracts and studies from the Children & Nature Network summarize research supporting the benefits of connecting children to nature. Abstracts include an executive summary of each research report; full citation; and a PDF if available, or a link to each study in its entirety, or contact information if the study is not available online.
For much of human evolution, the natural world was one of the most important contexts of children's maturation. Indeed, the experience of nature was, and still may be, a critical component of human physical, emotional, intellectual, and even moral development. Yet scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse. This book provides scientific investigations and thought-provoking essays on children and nature.Children and Nature incorporates research from cognitive science, developmental psychology, ecology, education, environmental studies, evolutionary psychology, political science, primatology, psychiatry, and social psychology. The authors examine the evolutionary significance of nature during childhood; the formation of children's conceptions, values, and sympathies toward the natural world; how contact with nature affects children's physical and mental development; and the educational and political consequences of the weakened childhood experience of nature in modern society.
Community Playthings is a site dedicated to high-quality wood furniture, learning materials, and toys for kids. These materials are designed to withstand the elements, and are safe for outdoor play. The site also provides room planning tools for classrooms and homes.
This book examines the reasons why children should interact and connect with real animals, and it identifies the rich learning that results. You'll find lots of practical ideas to create authentic experiences that bring children and animals together - even if live animals are not permitted in your setting.
Coop Ecology provides the essential design features for those wishing to start a school based on cooperative and ecological principles. Though out of print, this is a PDF version for free. It has been used by dozens of place-based schools since its publication almost twenty years ago.
The 48-page guidebook Creating & Retrofitting Play Environments: Best Practice Guidelines serves as an educational resource and training tool that highlights research-based design procedures for both parks and school grounds. The publication brings cost effective design solutions to communities to support the development of new play environments and the retrofit of existing play areas.
Cultivating Joy and Wonder brings Education for Sustainability into your early childhood classroom through engaging activities, essays, and resources that encourage children to explore and engage in the world around them. The book is the fruit of Shelburne Farms’ years of experience in early childhood education and sustainability, both on the Farm and with our partners at the Sustainability Academy and King Street Center in Burlington, Vermont. The guide is available for free download.
CULTIVATING KIDS features a school farm on South Whidbey Island, WA, and shows that a garden can be a valuable addition to the curriculum while encouraging a healthy diet.
Transform outdoor spaces into learning environments where children can enjoy a full range of activities as they spend quality time in nature. This book is filled with guidance to help you plan, design, and create an outdoor learning program that is a rich, thoughtfully equipped, natural extension of your indoor curriculum. Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms promotes the idea that if you can do it indoors, you can probably do it outside as well.
This book is for those who have forgotten how to play, or who want to incorporate more play into their lives and revive their innate curiosity and sense of wonder. Let Joseph Cornell, Founder of Sharing Nature Worldwide and one of the world's most popular nature educators, empower you with the tools to maximize play, and transform it from mere entertainment into a doorway to enhanced living, creativity, and concentration.