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Early Childhood Nature Resources

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Early Childhood Nature Resources

This group is a place for all of us who love nature and young children to share resources we have found to be helpful and inspiring. Please post stories, programs, workshop materials, handouts for parents, books, links, and photos.

Website: http://www.hookedonnature.org
Members: 107
Latest Activity: May 1

Words of Wisdom

Teaching children about the natural world
should be treated as one of the most
important events in their lives.
Thomas Berry, Dream of the Earth

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense
of wonder, he needs the companionship
of at least one adult who can share it,
rediscovering with him the joy, excitement
and mystery of the world we live in.
Rachel Carson, A Sense of Wonder

Discussion Forum

Nature Preschools and Kindergartens 1 Reply

Nature Preschools and Kindergartens WorkshopJoin us for a great One-Day Intensive Workshop on Nature Preschools and Kindergartens.  Claire Warden and I will be hosting this workshop on Nature…Continue

Started by Paul Roberts. Last reply by Juliet Robertson Jan 11, 2013.

Nature Preschools 22 Replies

We are just about to start our second year of our Little Sprouts nature based early learning center and I just wondered if any of you guys are doing this and if you have any BIG ideas for us to…Continue

Started by Debbie Greene. Last reply by Janine Carpenter May 5, 2012.

Join us for our International Green Schoolyard Conference: Sept. 16-18, 2011, San Francisco Bay Area

As many of you know, the green schoolyard movement is growing rapidly and flourishing around the world.  Schools near and far are reimagining their grounds, replacing their extensive paved surfaces…Continue

Tags: environment, nature, conference, green, childhood

Started by Sharon Danks Jun 20, 2011.

Let's G.O.! Get Outside 1 Reply

Wanted to be sure you all know about Let’s G.O.! Get Outside. This is a youth-inspired, youth-led campaign unifying all of C&NN's initiatives and partners to Play, Serve and Celebrate together…Continue

Started by Avery Cleary. Last reply by Stephanie Rach-Wilson Mar 4, 2011.

Comment Wall

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Comment by John Thielbahr on October 18, 2011 at 11:41am
Hello Early Learning professionals.  Please see my post about attending the NAEYC annual conference in Orlando Nov. 2-5 where The Children & Nature Network will be sharing an exhibit booth with natural play space designer Adam Bienenstock.  Adam will be giving a workshop on Nov. 2.  Hope you can attend and raise awareness of the importance of connecting young children to the natural world.
Comment by Margie on May 27, 2011 at 9:29am

Just attended a Growing Up Wild facilitator's workshop.  It was great, filled with so many ideas.  Check it out at http://projectwild.org/GrowingUpWILD.htm.

 

Comment by Juliet Robertson on March 1, 2011 at 12:39am

Hi Sharon

 

Thanks very much - regardless, I'm still delighted to hear about your project. So thanks for sharing.

 

Best wishes

Juliet

Comment by Sharon McCarthy on February 28, 2011 at 8:45am

Thanks so much Debbie for the kind words.  I love being a social advocate for all the good causes.  It is nice to see my passion rub off on the kids too.  It makes working with kids and families very enjoyable. 

Juliet I am looking around for any photos from the project.  I just took a administrative college class and for the final project I created a environmental school using a lot of the drawings and photos I done over the years.   My teacher said she wasnt going to take the photos but she ended doing just that.   I didnt have the guts to say no. I will let you know if I find any more though.

Comment by Debbie Tashoff on February 27, 2011 at 3:43pm

Sharon,

I just read your post...AWESOME! Child centered and so observant, curiosity abounds!  Keep up the amazing work you are doing, you are an inspiration!

Deb

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 27, 2011 at 9:42am
Hi Sharon

Thanks for this description of the worms - just great. Forgive me for asking, but would you have and be willing to share a photo or two? It would be lovely to mention this to the audience and would complement some work in a pre-school in Scotland - where the children through noticing the amount of litter in their local forest, ended up getting their parents to organise a community clear-up where 250 people turned and now a community action group has been formed to look after the woods - all of which stemmed from children playing in nature and noticing the world around them.

Best wishes and thanks again
Juliet
Comment by Sharon McCarthy on February 27, 2011 at 9:20am

HI Juliet

For unstructured outdoor activities I always enjoy doing the Project Aproach curriculum.  For example, my preschool kids went for a walk one day and noticed that no worms were found on the ground after a rain fall in the housing project surrounding thier school, but were found everywhere else in the neighborhood. 

This then led us to research about worms and how they lived.  Which led us to discover that chemicals can kill shrubbery and grubs in the soil. 

 This then led us to create posters to protest against using harmful pesticides to take care of landscapes in the housing project.  The children created thier own posters and chanted their slogans all around the project, such as , "No more pesticides!" Save our water!" and "Don't kill worms!" and so on. 

We  learned about pesticides and not only how they harm plants, bugs, the water supply, but humans too and that the harmful chemicals can go right into our school after a walk and cause sickness such as asthma. 

We  took pictures of our protests and put  all our research together to create a poster board.   We then walked to the landscape company to give them the poster board.  We also explained to the landscape company how we learned all about alternative organic ways to take care of the environment and keep people healthy. 

It was a year long project done by  just observing what children notice around them.   I also made sure to advertise our work during open houses and the local paper.  We have done other similiar projects at the preschool I worked at each year.

Good luck with your presentation.  I hope this helps somewhat.

Sharon

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 26, 2011 at 3:03pm

Hi Stephanie

Thanks for your description. This is kind of you to offer lists and crafts. I'm looking specifically at an outdoor unstructured context (ie freely chosen and initiated by children) for this particular presentation so would be interested in your thoughts about this aspect of pre-school provision.

 

Many thanks and best wishes

Juliet

Comment by Debbie Tashoff on February 24, 2011 at 6:48am

Hi Stephanie,

I loved your morning stretching and story time activity...I am anxious to get back to school next week and do it with my class!

I would like to chat and share some ideas.

Deb Tashoff

Comment by Stephanie Rach-Wilson on February 21, 2011 at 5:09pm

Hi Juliet,

We do quite a few activities in the pre school classrooms. From our morning stretching and storytime activity:

Start with sunshine stretches reaching arms high and wiggling fingers to give warmth to the world around us.

Then we exhale and rain down bringing our fingers to our toes, finally rolling into a little ball like a quiet rock. Walking around the room the teacher taps and says "what's hiding underneath you?" The kids giggle and comment on what could be hiding underneath them, skinks, slugs, spiders, anything.

 

Then everyone sits quietly and we do storytime. Following we discuss the book and pretend to be some of the characters - for example: Break it Down with Bruce is about banana slugs so the kids stretch and slither like slugs, pretend to turn a different color to hide from predators, and so on.

 

It takes very little prompting because children in the 2-4 or 5 range are so open to imagining and it is wonderful to bring stretch and play into a storytime. This can be done indoors or outside.

 

I have more ...don't want to chat away too much but let me know if you'd like a list and some sheets on crafts as well. Cheers! Stephanie

 

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