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.
This updated and expanded edition of "The Great Outdoors" will inspire teachers to make it possible for children to spend more time outdoors, have safe environments, and be free to learn through exploration. Each chapter ends with action items to improve children’s access to safe, clean, and interesting places in your community and is packed with resource ideas for further exploration.
This updated and expanded edition of The Great Outdoors will inspire teachers to make it possible for children to spend more time outdoors, have safe environments, and be free to learn through exploration.
For many school-age children, outdoor experiences are very limited. The author compellingly argues for ensuring that children have outdoor play and learning opportunities, describes exciting playgrounds in the U.S. and other countries, and provides practical information on safety, accessibility, and curriculum.
Ever since Richard Louv diagnosed nature-deficit disorder in his classic book Last Child in the Woods, parents and teachers have been looking for more ways to connect children with the outdoors. Nationally recognized naturalist and artist Clare Walker Leslie has been igniting kids curiosity about nature for more than 30 years. Her unique approach combines directed observational activities with journaling and field-note prompts that are designed to nurture the next generation of nature lovers and environmentalists.
This site provides a variety of resources, research, featured stories, links, and more for Head Start teachers to use in getting their students outside.
The Outdoor Classroom Project offers training, consulting, and design services for creating outdoor classrooms. Focused mostly in California, the organization maintains demonstration sites people can visit to see outdoor classrooms in action.
Responding to current debates on the place of play in schools, Jones and Reynolds explain how and why play is a critical part of children’s development, as well as the central role adults have to promote it. This classic textbook and popular practitioner resource offers systematic descriptions and analyses of the different roles a teacher adopts to support play, including those of stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor, communicator, and planner.
A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids--and a parenting memoir and a great read for anybody who is interested in nature-based early childhood education, parents as well as teachers.
Blending seriousness and whimsy, filmmaker Ian Cheney explores the promise and perils of urban farming.
How can children be encouraged to make a lasting connection to nature? This program profiles the efforts of educators and parents to introduce children to the natural world and to involve them—through outdoor play, class activities, and their own creative work—in a process of outdoor discovery. Beyond the immediate benefits to child development that come with exploration and improvisational learning, the program documents how meaningful time spent outdoors can cultivate in children a permanent caring for nature—a crucial ethic of environmental responsibility.
Billy B., the natural science song and dance man, helps preschoolers become more aware of the world around them with self-help and nature songs. New experiences like answering the telephone and washing one’s hands are made easier when Billy B. explains the benefits of common courtesy and cleanliness. (ages 2-8)
Peppered with anecdotes and friendly advice, while based in research and experience, Wings, Worms, and Wonder: A Guide for Creatively Integrating Gardening and Outdoor Learning, by Kelly Johnson, gives above and beyond gardening guidance on topics such as composting and organic pest control, as well as giving adults the tools to reconnect themselves and the children in their lives to the natural world through holistic gardening experiences. It will ignite your confidence to create outdoor learning experiences that nurture both wonder and ecological literacy.
Wonder is the bimonthly newsletter of the World Forum Foundation's Nature Action Collaborative for Children. The newsletter is free and can be downloaded online and is also printed in Exchange magazine.
Do You: Spend your days with children under age 6? Want to engage young children with the wonders of their natural world? Need tips and tricks for building your confidence to be outdoors with infants and toddlers? Seek child tested and parent/teacher approved creative activities that capture young children’s attention, teach about nature, and encourage physical and emotional development? If you answered yes, Wonder and Wander is for You! In Wonder and Wander, I offer my creative nature connection experience to those with young children at home, school, and in the community. Inside, find nearly 100 activities, creative projects, and games, as well as garden and outdoor advice and ample resources to set you up for being-outdoors-with-young-children success in all weather and seasons!
Wonderkin offers educational activity kits designed to support early childhood development by getting kids outdoors and connected to nature. Our carefully curated boxes arrive on your doorstep with everything you need to jumpstart engaging outdoor play and learning no matter where you live or how crazy your schedule is. For ages 3 - 8.