Resources

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.

Developed by the National Wildlife Federation and Natural Learning Initiative, this guide is an tool for creating enticing outdoor play spaces in your backyard, patio, or balcony. The guide contains easy-to-use instructions for creating features like edible pathways, fairy villages, areas for water or sand play, backyard habitat, and much more.

Nature Play Lifestyle provides guidance and support to engage young learners in connecting to the natural world. This YouTube Channel is more than a place to provide tips and tricks to help support others in the field, it's a community. We come together to share ideas and I guide conversations about what I've learned as a nature preschool teacher over the last 10 years. I post videos every Wednesday and Saturday.

This guide from The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association explores why nature play is important, its essential characteristics, and what organizations can do to restore children's play.

Environmental education expert David Sobel joins with a variety of colleagues to share their experiences and steps for creating a successful forest kindergarten program.

Children will learn how to build a den from branches, make twig boats to sail across a pond, and voyage through the backyard to find tiny insects and creatures. Activities include invigorating games, natural crafts, and lively adventures, all of which are organized by season. An additional chapter also addresses safe activities for children after dark.

Young children playing in an outdoor sand and water area with a variety of loose parts.

NWPS play yard

Young children playing in an outdoor sand and water area with a variety of loose parts.

This blog comes from the staff at Nature's Way Preschool in Austin, Texas. Check it out for engaging activity ideas, early childhood educator support, mindfulness strategies, and more!

Nature-Watch provides educational nature products and craft activity kits designed to teach children about nature. Our hands on educational materials and crafts engage, enlighten and enliven the learning experience for children while being a great resource of nature instructional materials for indoor and outdoor educators.

This award-winning documentary takes the viewer on an inspiring education journey to the Nordic North in a cinematic portrait of childhood, education, and play.

An infographic created by the National Environmental Education Foundation giving facts about why being active in nature makes kids healthier. Free printable download in English and Spanish, as a JPEG or PDF.

This stunning book examines how to develop the learning benefits of connecting children to Nature and inspires the reader to ensure that all children are gaining the benefits of this connection. Each chapter celebrates a natural element such as mud, water, sand, and shows how these readily available and in the most part free of cost resources can be used through all the seasons.

This book brings together renowned authors, with research and professional experience in a range of disciplines, to provide a comprehensive guide to developing positive and engaging outdoor learning environments in the early years.

An illustrated, essential guide to engaging children and youth in the process of urban design.

Playing and Learning Outdoors shows early years practitioners how to get the very best from outdoor playing and learning for the enjoyment, health and education of all children from ages three to five years. This invaluable resource also includes practical advice on movement and physical play; playing with sand, natural materials, and water; plants, living things, and growing; and construction, creativity, and imaginative play.

Intended to help early childhood educators shift their practice towards a more nature-based approach—wherever their starting point.

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth K-12. PLT includes activities and experiences to facilitate outdoor play and nature exploration, and also includes a children's CD. The GreenSchools! program provides materials for helping children and families connect with nature.

Pages