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.
A peer-reviewed open-access electronic journal promoting early childhood environmental education for global readership and action.
Jack's tired of his hikes being so short, so hum-drum, and so blahhhhh. Jack discovers that when he packs what he needs for the outdoors, he is free to enjoy nature, and to see the adventure in what he finds. Jack learns about the value of being prepared, and exactly what he needs to spend more time in nature.
KinderNature's Activities page provides great resources for educational group activity ideas for any time of the year.
In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
Turn items headed for the trash into fun, educational, and safe toys and activities for young children. Find one hundred creative and clever ideas repurposing common household objects—including shoeboxes, fabric scraps, plastic lids, and buttons—into entertaining playthings. They benefit children's early learning by promoting sensory perception and development in physical; social and emotional; cognitive; and language and communication areas.
In the full-color Learning Is in Bloom, teachers and caregivers will find 40 hands-on activities effective in engaging young children in investigating nature, both indoors and outdoors, on the school grounds, and on excursions around the neighborhood.
Learning With Nature DVD is a joyful celebration of ways to use outdoor classrooms as an integral part of children's daily learning. See how well-designed outdoor spaces facilitate children's overall development socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Gain insight into ways to help children make deeper connections with the natural world. 23 minutes.
Book by Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, Nancy Rosenow, James R. Wike, Valerie Cuppens
PEAK is a series of activities that interactively teach elementary school youth the seven principles of Leave No Trace. It is designed to educate children about the outdoors and responsible use of our shared public lands.
Lens on Outdoor Learning includes information to structure and support outdoor experiences, an explanation of how each learning standard relates to outdoor learning, and inspiration to connect children to the natural world.
A blog of an Australian early childhood educator, the site "celebrates the importance of play in the lives and education of our children by sharing my own experiences in a play-based preschool and providing inspiration, tips and information to help parents and teachers alike put the play back into childhood."
Want to fix up your play space? Need to design a brand-new one? Then this delightful new book by a leading play space designer is for you! Offers practical advice on providing a safe yet challenging outdoor environment, including step-by-step instruction on how to assess your play space.
Here is a FREE resource to print, share, or link to. It is a pre-school level picture book with one-word titles translated into multiple languages. For a preschool age child, these are activities and words provide a skill building and language developmental opportunity to prepare them for kindergarten.
There is little more important in our physical world than earth and water and they are truly intriguing things, especially when they interact. Mixing soil, water and a range of other natural materials has a foundational role in early childhood which has deep importance and endless possibilities for well-being, development and learning. The breadth and depth of what these experiences offer young children is truly remarkable.
A Scotland-based private company started by Claire Warden, Mindstretchers offers books, DVDs, trainings, speaking engagements, and more focused on nature preschools. The company also operates nature-based preschools, after-school programs, and summer camps at their facilities. Profits generated from Mindstretchers supports its associated charity, Living Classrooms, which has a similar focus on connecting children to nature, and has a global focus.