Early Childhood Nature Resources


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: 118
Latest Activity: Dec 6, 2017

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

Forest School Educators Training in Australia

We are opening a forest school in Port Macquarie, NSW and we're very interested and keen on having some training. It seems like Claire will only be back to Australia in September but is anyone else…Continue

Started by Sybil Juzwiak Doyle May 20, 2015.

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.

Comment Wall


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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

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 21, 2011 at 4:46pm

Hi Rusty - Jenny Kable's blog has been helpful and I know the NZ ministry has been organising nature kindergarten projects etc. Any advice, suggestions or links are appreciated. 


Here in Scotland we have one local authority that has 80% of state run pre-schools having a weekly nature kindergarten session - some even operate directly from a wood and children arrive there instead of at the nursery building.

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 21, 2011 at 4:43pm

Thanks everyone - I found this via a google search too. It has a Facebook page!


Anyone know of any others? I know there's one that was featured in the NY times last year on the East side and there's Carp Ridge up near Ottawa. 


Also does anyone just do some jolly good nature play activities from an ordinary pre-school base?

Comment by Christina (Tina) Person on February 21, 2011 at 4:41pm

Hi Juliet, 

Scotish pre-school practitioners seem to be way ahead of us. But the school I work at is way before its time. It was built in 1973, its an earthen building on 16 achers of Forest Service land (It has dwindled and now its 8 achers). We are 3 miles outside of Aspen, we have a bus so we reduce our foot print, we are non profit. We play in the woods, at the river, on our roof we call it the observation deck, and we have a grow dome that we grow vegatables 7 months out of the year, We host workshops for our community and just built a compost bin out of recycled materials, we have composting worms and the list go's on. Our weather can be very severe, but we get out all the time no matter what in the winter the snow shoes are out all the time. I have a ton of pictures, and power points for presentations I've done. Our website needs updating but its www.wildwoodschool.org  I've worked there for 20 years and would like to take it to the next level, I dream of going to Scottland!! Please let me know if you want any pictures or any details. Our enrollment is low because we have a preschool in town that is pushing academics, the parents don't  any better, but we are sticking to our guns and will not compromise children in nature stand. 

Thanks Tina

Comment by Patricia Rowe Gilkerson on February 21, 2011 at 4:36pm

It's called Cedarsong Nature School and founded by Erin Kenny.  People is a celebrity gossip magazine, so I was surprised to see the article in it.


Comment by Rusty Keeler on February 21, 2011 at 3:54pm

Here's a WA state forest school - this might be the one Patricia was mentioning:  http://www.cedarsongnatureschool.org/index.php?module=pagemaster&am...


also, they are doing lots of great things sustainability-wise in New Zealand and Australia...

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 21, 2011 at 2:51pm

Hi Patricia


I don't know the People magazine! Do you know the name of the pre-school? I did chat to a person who ran one in Washington State who was very helpful about 18 months ago. The quote is quoted world-wide and seems to be attributed to different places, people and cultures!

Comment by Patricia Rowe Gilkerson on February 21, 2011 at 2:25pm

Do you read People magazine?  There's a cool article this week about a preschool in Washington state that is totally outdoors every day!  I don't want to take it that far, specially in Minnesota, but I love the concept! A quote: "There's no bad weather, just bad clothing".

Comment by Juliet Robertson on February 21, 2011 at 12:59pm

Hi Everyone


I'm going to be giving a presentation in a few weeks time about International Nature Play to an audience of pre-schooler practitioners. Is anyone out there doing something they think I should be telling Scottish pre-school staff?


I'd love to know about the good work going on around the world!




Comment by Christina (Tina) Person on February 21, 2011 at 12:43pm

Thanks Sarah, 

I'll be looking for the book in April and will order The other right now. 

Thanks Tina


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