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.

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!

Since Herb Broda published Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning, his groundbreaking first book on outdoor learning, many schools across North America have embraced the benefits of "greening" their learning programs.

Be Out There is NWF's movement to reconnect kids with the many benefits of the great outdoors. NWF has committed to getting 10 million kids outdoors. The program includes special events, resources for parents and families, and more.

Run out of the College of Design at NC State University, this organization is focused on creating environments for play that encourage connections to nature and offer opportunities for stimulating play. The Natural Learning Initiative uses its design expertise to offer consulting and design services to create engaging, natural play spaces.

This book is about a new movement in children's outdoor play areas, natural playscapes - Where the entire space and is filled with art, hills, pathways, trees, herbs, open areas, sand, water, music, and more... Where children find places to run, climb, dig, pretend, and hide, with opportunities to bellow or be silent.

This guide was written especially for naturalists and environmental educators who are interested in learning more about how and why young children think and act. The guidelines offered here will help educators design developmentally appropriate programs and activities.

Nearly 90% of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. To help maximize a child's learning during this influential time, this set of nature-themed exploration activities instills a sense of wonder, an appreciation for the environment and building blocks toward understanding the natural world. Age appropriate and fun outdoor activities enhance early brain development and learning. Each nature-based activity in the packet also includes a brain insight on the back of the card, giving adults an understanding of the benefits gained through the experience.

Now in its second edition, Nature and Young Children promotes the holistic development of children by connecting them with nature. It offers advice and guidance on how to set up indoor and outdoor nature play spaces as well as encouraging environmentally responsible attitudes, values and behaviour in your early childhood setting.

This guide from the Children and Nature Network provides inspiration, information, tips and resources for those who are—or who might be—interested in creating a Nature Club for Families. The guide provides quick ideas for safe, fun, and hassle-free outings for families.

Nature Explore helps early childhood education centers create nature-based outdoor spaces or classrooms by offering workshops, design consultations, and certification programs. Nature Explore also sells natural play materials for use in outdoor classrooms and provides resources for families. Nature Explore is a joint project of the Arbor Day Foundation and the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

This book is an exploration on naturalistic learning within Nature Kindergartens and Forest Schools. Using cases studies and academic research, Clare Warden explores everything that goes into setting up and coordinating a Nature Kindergarten.

Most children’s playgrounds are metal, plastic, concrete and devoid of nature. These guidelines show how to create a new type of nature play and learning area with trees, shrubs, flowers, and natural materials so that children and families can experience and appreciate wildlife and nature at every place they use in every community. Two chapters are devoted to the management, maintenance, and risk management of this type of community space.

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.

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.

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