Natural Families

Welcome to the virtual gathering place for Natural Families.  A “Natural Family” is any family who values and uses the natural world as a place for playing, growing, and learning. Natural Families believe that children who spend time in nature are happier, healthier and smarter, and aspire to share their experiences with other families. 

Location: Worldwide!
Members: 237
Latest Activity: Dec 7, 2019


The Natural Family's forum is designed to connect families virtually, giving space to share ideas and ask for suggestions, where families can be engaged, supportive and encouraged. Here, we discuss and ask questions about using the natural world as a playground for our kids, whereby connecting with nature on a regular basis, they will harvest the seeds of lifelong stewardship in and for the natural world.

It is our hope that this forum will help grow the movement and inspire more families to enjoy the wonders of nature, either with a family nature club, with friends, or on their own! This is a great place to get more information on how to start a family nature club if you’re interested, too. Peruse the topics here and jump in with your own questions and contributions often.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the C&NN Connect site.

The goal is to encourage more families to connect their children with nature and to provide a forum where Natural Families can share their ideas, experiences and views.

Please participate actively, and encourage others to join. Get together face-to-face as well when you can!

You'll find tools and resources on the Natural Families home page and throughout the larger Children & Nature Network website.

If you're looking for tools and resources you'll find them on the Natural Families home pages and throughout the larger Children & Nature Network website.

Discussion Forum

Workshop for Family Leaders: Nurturing Children, Ourselves, and Nature

Dear All,    We are launching a new program supporting adult teachers and facilitators of nature and learning experiences. We begin with a workshop on October 7, 2017 in White Plains, NY:Nurturing…Continue

Started by LoraKim Joyner Jul 26, 2017.

***Raising Awareness of Family Nature Clubs via Instagram***

Hello everybody! I'd like to invite you to participate in a new project to raise awareness about Family Nature Clubs. To participate, just start tagging your Instagram posts with #familynatureclub.…Continue

Tags: media, awareness, natural, families, social

Started by Jason Sperling Jan 22, 2016.

Learning at a Dairy Farm great time learning and exploring at our local dairy farm. www.naturebec.orgContinue

Tags: learning, nature-based, farm, dairy

Started by Deanna Fahey Nov 29, 2015.

Rediscovering "Where Nature Meets Story" 4 Replies

In my search for good nature-based literature for my 6 and 8 year old boys, I recently rediscovered a fantastic resource we have right here with C&NN. Where Nature Meets Story has reignited my…Continue

Started by Janice Swaisgood. Last reply by Deanna Fahey Nov 6, 2015.

Children's and Teen Health Summit

Our very own Cheryl Charles will be presenting at the ONLINE Chiildren and Teen Health Summit that begins Monday, November 3rd! The event is online, and  you can listen whenever you want during that…Continue

Started by Carla Atherton Oct 31, 2014.

Raising Girls to Know Inner Beauty

This morning I was getting my haircut at a salon downtown, and I started looking around the room. All of the available reading material consisted of either beauty or home-cooking magazines. I was…Continue

Tags: Inner, Beauty, Health, Women's, Raising

Started by Emily Kent Sep 15, 2014.

Party in Nature With Your Kids

Looking for a fun and meaningful activity for kids this summer?Check out what could be the FEEL GOOD video of the year! It is…Continue

Tags: sing, connectedness, connected, dance, nature

Started by Dave Room Jul 18, 2014.

Need a way of getting the kids out into nature? 7 Replies

Hi all.Just wanted to let you know of a way to get kids out there in nature. It involves a smart-phone so that may just be the encouragement they need!I've recently created a resource (…Continue

Tags: learning, nature

Started by Stephen Bradley. Last reply by Stephen Bradley Jun 4, 2014.


Attention Family Nature Club Leaders and Zoo-Lovers!There is a wonderful grant opportunity that would foster a partnership between your Family Nature Club and your local AZA accredited zoo/aquarium!…Continue

Started by Janice Swaisgood May 10, 2014.

Kids to Parks Day - May 17th! 3 Replies

Hey there Natural Families and Family Nature Club Leaders!Wanted to be sure you are aware…Continue

Started by Janice Swaisgood. Last reply by Julie Osborn Garner May 4, 2014.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Natural Families to add comments!

Comment by Abbie Enlund on December 15, 2010 at 7:45pm

Looking for a hiking club in the central Wisconsin area. The movement map shows lots of events and other things going on in this area but I am more interested in a group of parents that might be interested in meeting up at different locations to hike and explore together.

Anyone know if this exists or anyone interested in starting one up?

Comment by Juliet Robertson on September 11, 2010 at 10:11am
I'm wondering if anyone can help me...

I'm on the hunt for any nomadic outdoor pre-schools - nature, forest, whatever! There's a huge issue over hand hygiene in Scotland happening and I've been asked (voluntarily) to find out what other nomadic outdoor pre-schools do in terms of managing hand hygiene (believe it or not).

These are pre-schools who have no fixed site but walk and visit a variety of different sites during the course of a week. The pre-schools need to operate 5 days per week. If you know of any such pre-school anywhere in the world, please let me know. They can be state run, private, playgroup but must operate daily.

Many thanks!
Comment by John Thielbahr on July 25, 2010 at 2:32pm
Hi Folks,
Great ideas for kids, but also great ideas for adults too. When making presentations to new audiences, it is always fun to get the adults outside in some kind of activity. Love the 100 inch exploration idea and bug hunt. Rich lists several activities in the second edition of Last Child (100 things to do) and I have used some of them. Thanks for these great ideas. Keep them coming. jt
Comment by Rhonda Ursulak on July 25, 2010 at 10:32am
Love the scavenger hunt idea... another idea I have is the 100 inch hike... where we would explore just 100 inches of a trail each and we would report what we see... I read it either on here or somewhere online... can't take credit for the idea.
Comment by Ron Swaisgood on July 25, 2010 at 9:17am
So exciting to hear about all the new clubs springing up! Attendance for our club (and the smaller subclubs) is really variable--sometimes 30 families, sometimes 1! Depends on day of week, time of day, time of year, the activity planned, etc. etc. So don't worry, be happy (with what you got). FYI, we've been surprised that attendance is down in summer--travel, too many soccer games, too hot? Don't know why. "Bug hunt" sounds like a great way to market an outdoor activity. Always good to find a hook to make it sound even more fun.
Comment by Rhonda Ursulak on July 25, 2010 at 6:48am
No problem Debi! Take, share, explore my ideas, I love it when we share! And yes, a bug hunt is a great way of drawing a group. I would have been just as happy to go out on my own and that was the attitude I had, if it is just my family then we will have lots of fun... if more families join us, all the more merrier. That way I didn't stress over it. Wishing you a successful bug hunt!
Comment by Rhonda Ursulak on July 24, 2010 at 6:53pm
Uploaded a video on youtube of our first Nature hike. 14 kids and moms joined me on my hunt for bugs! Was a great success.
Comment by John Thielbahr on January 12, 2010 at 5:06pm
Wonderful idea. I had no idea you were behind the Ironwood Experience. Great site. I am sure Chip and Ashley will respond soon. They were anxious to chat with you. I am really looking forward to helping you and Kirk move this along in any way I can. It's a great project with huge potential to reach places we could never reach otherwise. Talk soon. John
Comment by Suzanne Dhruv on January 12, 2010 at 5:00pm
Hi John - yes, i really enjoyed reading the email from you to Kirk and look forward to speaking with you as well. I did use the kiva email address but thought it might be interesting to reach out this way as well.
more soon.
Comment by John Thielbahr on January 12, 2010 at 4:37pm
Hi Suzanne,
I am sure Kirk Astroth has briefed you about our conversation in December about partnering with the Children & Nature Network on the new 4-H initiative to connect children with nature. I asked Chip and Ashley if they would connect with you, and they welcomed the opportunity. I don't know if they realize that this is the way you are reaching out to them, but I can provide their direct email address if you would like. I hope you and I and Kirk can find an opportunity to chat in the days ahead about the partnership with the Children & Nature Network. Chip and Ashley, I know you will be a great resource for Suzanne's project. And what a small world that Suzanne has her own group on our social networking site called the Ironwood Experience. Best to all. John

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