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.
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. Perfect for families, caretakers, and educators, this creative resource encourages children to turn off the television and play outside all year round.
Nature-Watch provides educational nature products and craft activity kits designed to teach children about nature. Since 1987 Nature-Watch has provided environmental science curriculum and nature craft projects to thousands of schools, camps, museums, nature centers, park and recreation programs, zoos, libraries, after-school programs, scouts and many others. 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.
Claire Warden presents and shares her practice, philosophy and expertise that underpins the award winning Auchlone Nature Kindergarten in Scotland. DVD Filmed on location at Auchlone Nature Kindergarten.
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. Playing and Learning Outdoors offers practitioners achievable advice and support, based on approaches which are appropriate and effective for young children’s all-round well-being and development. 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. Release date: March 2019
Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT's "Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood" curriculum guide includes 11 activities and other experiences to facilitate outdoor play and nature exploration, and also includes a music CD with children's songs. PLT also offers a GreenSchools! program and provides materials for helping children and families connect with nature.
Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, 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. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and experiencing trees through the seasons. An accompanying music CD features songs from children's musician Billy B. Brennan that encourages children to sing, dance, and move.
Want to enjoy garden activities with a preschooler or school-age child? Here's a book for teachers, parents, home schoolers, after school instructors, park or botanical garden interpreters and child development specialists. Esther Railton-Rice and Irene Winston describe 48 things to do in a variety of gardens that expand with suggestions for related activities. Tables match the activities to the National Core Standards, NAEYC curriculum standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
This professional development certificate program of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver focuses on humane education training for teachers, parents and caregivers of children ages 2-8, with easy adaptability for older children. It includes three online courses and one residential course taught in Denver, Colorado.
Standards provide important benchmarks for student learning, but meeting them doesn’t mean you have to take away creativity, lively participation, and joyful learning. This resource offers research-based and field-tested strategies to address content standards in ways that nurture kindergartners’ natural love of learning. The authors show how projects, play, and other engaging learning experiences can help children reach standards in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts. Also covers the transitions to and from kindergarten.