nature play

Resources

A comprehensive, color-photo-illustrated guidebook to creating living schoolyards, authored by Sharon Gamson Danks. Case studies from North America, Scandinavia, Japan, and Great Britain demonstrate natural outdoor teaching environments that support hand-on learning in science, math, language, and art in ways that nurture healthy imagination and socialization. Read more

Resources

Through this family’s experiences, we observe how free play in nature hones a sense of wonder, provides healthy challenges, and nurtures earth stewardship. “Parents need to support kids’ access to independent outdoor play,” says Sobel. “Of course they should use judgment, but the benefits outweigh the risks.” Read more

Feature Story

Childhood nature play advocate Ken Finch shares strategies for making nature play easy so that families can make it part of every day. Read more

Resources

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. Read more

Janice Swaisgood

Bright Idea

Environmental education professionals are welcome to join these free webinars on connecting families to nature through play. Read more

San Antonio Zoo

Member Spotlight

San Antonio Zoo has been home to nature-based preschool and nature play area for over ten years. Read more

Photo by Kevin Shoban for CuriOdyssey

Feature Story

The Walt Disney Company is supporting a major new effort to connect families to nature through zoos and aquariums. New grants for nature play programs will be available soon. Read more

Bright Idea

The Chicago Botanic Garden and Alliance for Early Childhood are happy to announce the second annual "Inspiring Nature Play: Digging Deeper" conference to promote nature play. Read more

Resources

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. Read more

North Park Village Nature Center

Feature Story

In the heart of Chicago, a small nature center has taken a big leap into providing space for unstructured nature play for city residents. Read more

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