Take a quick field trip with your camera and visit:
* Dodge Nature Center Preschool
* Dodge Nature Center woods near the administrative offices (as a staff person to show you)
* Wargo Nature Center's "Maple Hollow"
"Hi Bekah, I agree with Juliet - Frode Svane recently emailed me a bunch of images and links about building with mud / mud bricks which I would love to do with my preschoolers next year. Maybe this would be something to consider."
If you want ideas and photos then seek out Frode Svane on Facebook. He is very helpful and has lots of ideas - include ones for natural structures.
In Berlin I believe there's an adventure playground where children can rent a den for…"
"Hi Ken. Thanks for the ideas. I thought about the willow structure, but we are in the wrong season as you mentioned. I like your bird sanctuary idea. We have a garage where we can build things this winter, and then we could move our pieces out in…"
"Hi Bekah -- how are you? Your class sounds like fun! A couple of quick ideas that you've probably already considered, but just in case.... One would be a living willow structure of some sort -- maybe as a sort of green gazebo for students to…"
Hello Everyone. I am working with a Minneapolis, MN school to offer an after school program called "Nature Construction." The goal of this one hour per week, 8-week class is to have the students (4th & 5th graders) build a permanent, natural structure on their property that the whole student body can enjoy. Has anyone done something like this before? Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions...photos even? Thanks! ~ BekahSee More
Just wanted to thank you for joining the Natural Teachers Network and for your posts in response to the new Natural Families groups starting up. I am hoping that Chip and Ashley Donahue will weigh in at some point. They have been at this…"
I co-facilitate a nature club in Minneapolis, and we've come across some of the same issues that you and others have mentioned.
One idea would be to partner with your local park system and get permission to access areas off trail.…"
"Hi Bekah! I'm so glad you've joined the forum and made yourself at home in a couple of groups. I'm sure as a parent, naturalist and family nature club leader, you'll find lots to talk about with the members here. I so look…"
I am a naturalist at Warner Nature Center in Marine on St. Croix. One of my favorite programs is our Nature Play summer camps for young children. We have no agenda for these camps - they are focused on free play in nature and are primarily child-directed. It is a blast!
I also lead a family nature club though the Minneapolis Parks. We meet monthly at different parks in the city to explore the more natural areas of the park. I bring my young son and husband along with me and we have a great time - usually getting really dirty and wet!
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Just wanted to thank you for joining the Natural Teachers Network and for your posts in response to the new Natural Families groups starting up. I am hoping that Chip and Ashley Donahue will weigh in at some point. They have been at this longer than anyone and might have some good suggestions. My response to getting more families interested is that, like anything else, we compete for kids'and parents' time and must make playing outdoors compelling. This means frequent reminders of the outings and a theme or special activity that will get attention. Once you get going, it also means getting the parents and kids who joined you to get their neighbors and friends to participate. Word of mouth is powerful.
I see from your bio that you are an informal educator at Warner Nature Center. We are finding that afterschool programs, especially summer programs, are essential to continue the learning that occurs during the school day. More and more afterschool professionals are discovering the benefit of weaving nature-based activities into what they are already doing. Please share your experiences and suggestions often on the Natural Teachers Network group site, and thank you for your terrific work with kids. John
At 12:09pm on September 27, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
Hi Bekah! I'm so glad you've joined the forum and made yourself at home in a couple of groups. I'm sure as a parent, naturalist and family nature club leader, you'll find lots to talk about with the members here. I so look forward to reading more about your adventures. Feel free to post blog and pictures. I hope to see you here again soon.