C&NN Connect was created to support people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children and nature.


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Visit the Children & Nature Network Web site for news, resources, network initiatives, and the Movement Map.


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. 

Website: http://www.childrenandnature.org/movement/naturalfamilies/
Location: Worldwide!
Members: 234
Latest Activity: Apr 9


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

https://youtu.be/DI1kuraW7ToA 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…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 John Thielbahr on January 20, 2012 at 9:41am


Way to go!  Using social media is not my strong suit but kudos to you and your group for giving this a try to expand our network beyond C&NN Connect.  I will send this to Margaret Rietano who works with kids afterschool getting them outside regardless of the weather.  She started a new company called The Elements in Washington, DC.  She may not have time but she would be a terrific contributor.  All the best,  John

Comment by Kari on January 20, 2012 at 9:07am

We are having a Facebook chat about outdoor playgroups this Monday. I hope some of you will join us.

This is a chat for anyone who is doing an outdoor playgroup or would like to start one. We will be sharing information and our frustrations, in the end we will talk about outdoor ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Meet some of our outdoor playgroup leaders, Courtney (Boston area) Debra (Toronto), Brandy, (North Carolina) and Patty (Illinois) to mention a few.

If you are doing an outdoor playgroup and we do not know about you, please join us and share your ideas with us.

Grab a glass of wine or whatever you fancy and join us for chat on our Facebook page . Monday 23th of January time 8.30- 10.00 pm (EST)

More info http://www.activekidsclub.com/fresh-air-living/feature/outdoor-play...

Comment by Suz Lipman on December 13, 2011 at 9:45am

Want to start a family nature blog? Not sure how to get going? Check out our Family Nature Blog Quick Start Guide to begin sharing your adventures in nature with others:


Comment by Connecticut Friends School on October 24, 2011 at 5:08pm
In case anyone lives in southwestern Connecticut, I'd like to invite you to the Admissions Open House at Connecticut Friends School.  (And please share with any friends you know in our area who might be interested too.) We are a small, Preschool - Grade 8, coed, independent school. CFS combines outstanding academics, arts and an extraordinary outdoor education and leadership program with Friends (Quaker) values of simplicity, stewardship, peaceful problem-solving, and mutual respect. Our students play outside, on a wooded play area every day. Field trips to nature centers, planetariums, sculpture and botanical gardens, state parks and preserves, wilderness areas, ropes courses, rock climbing venues, and overnight camping trips are all regular and integral elements of our educational program.

Come learn more about our school...


experiential learning   *   small, co-ed classes

Call to rsvp for our Open House on November 4, 2011, 1:00 – 3:00

CFS is on Route 106 in the Silvermine area of Wilton.


203 762 9860


Thanks everybody!
Comment by Chip Donahue on October 21, 2011 at 6:40am

So glad to hear that you are starting up your group.  Ashley and I wish you the best of luck.  Feel free to e-mail (kivainfo@gmail.com) any questions that you might have.  I ditto the links listed below and also suggest that you check out the information about preparing for hikes at the Appallachian Trail Conservancy's website at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/hiking-basics.


Our suggestion, start basic, start small.  Let it grow at your pace.  Decide your commitment and stick to that.  It will keep you healthy!


Best wishes,

Comment by Janice Swaisgood on October 20, 2011 at 1:11pm

We use Meetup.com too Ken, as well as a Facebook page.  I used "BigTent.com" for about the first year, but much prefer Meetup. And you're right -- lots of people find you in your area on Meetup as it allows you to put in key words for people's searches.

Let us know how it goes Christine!

Comment by Ken Schmaltz on October 19, 2011 at 9:10pm
I organize kid's hikes through the Calgary Outdoor Recreation Association. We use meetup.com as our website, as well as for email, calendar and registration. I post the hike description, then meetup sends an email to all our members. You can see an example at http://www.meetup.com/Calgary-Outdoor-Recreation-Association-CORA/e... . Meetup is cheap and you'll be amazed at how many families in your area find you.
Comment by Janice Swaisgood on October 19, 2011 at 8:39pm

Hi Christine!
Well, congratulations on starting up your own group! My husband and I did too - two years ago this November!

Where are you based out of? I'm in San Diego, CA. Sometimes it's easier to chat on the phone that do this sort of thing by email/messaging. I'd read the article by Michele Whiteaker (below) and see if that provides any inspiration for you. Two other resources I'd recommend taking a look at are the "Nature Clubs for Families" Tool Kit (available to download for free at http://www.childrenandnature.org/movement/naturalfamiliestools/) and "Nature Rocks Flocks" (also a free download at http://www.naturerocks.org/flocks.aspx).

Let me know if you'd ever like to talk too. I'd be happy to share what we've learned and learn what you're learning too!

Best of luck!

Comment by Christine Barbir on October 19, 2011 at 1:36pm

Hi everyone,

I have just joined this group and am extremely excited to launch my local family nature hiking group. If anyone has any advice or information on a good email format to use as the introductory email to invite families on the hikes, can you please advise. I appreciate any information! I look forward to working with you all in reconnecting kids and adults to nature!!!


Comment by Chip Donahue on June 8, 2011 at 7:47am
Yes, this is a great jumpstart article for families.  Thanks so much for taking the time to write it up.  A great resource!

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