Featured Blog Posts (293)

Kingdom of Loose Parts: Norwegian free-play in natural settings

To be honest, I’ve spent a fair deal of this past year observing Norwegian children playing in nature. Picking berries, building shelters, “selling” all varieties of stone and pinecone merchandise in imaginary boutiques. There is romping and clambering. Clothes get muddy.

When I recently stumbled upon this excellent Slate article by Emma Marris,…

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Added by Elissa Brown on May 30, 2014 at 2:19am — No Comments

Take It Outside: Go Sledding

Snow on a Saturday—great! Who scheduled the recent snowstorm? My compliments. On Friday, we knew it was going to snow the next day. We cancelled our plans to travel and settled in for a day at home. No worries about piling up too many snow days that would force the kids to go to school until the end of June. Traveling to work wasn't a concern. I know, two Saturdays to go…

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Added by Ann Courcy on December 21, 2013 at 8:23am — 1 Comment

Environmental Education in the Flipped Classroom

Throughout my childhood, our family farm in Pennsylvania was not only a summer getaway from city life, but also a place to host extended family and friends. Many times we were allowed to bring classmates from school. One particular friend shared my affinity for horses and was a frequent guest. We spent long summer days playing in the creek, exploring the woods and tending to the horses and cattle on the property, all without issue until one fateful evening when she learned the truth…

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Added by Elizabeth Milli on December 12, 2013 at 5:45pm — 2 Comments

What do Trees Know?

Lessons from a Morning Walk

My son, Kaveh, and I have been taking a walk before school.  This is not so easy on a weekday, but it is a high priority.  We might make it around a block or two in ten minutes, and I am never, ever sorry.  Here is why.

On…

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Added by Alice Savage on December 7, 2013 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten Emergent Curriculum - November

©Erin Kenny 2013

November was warm enough that we had several barefoot days in the forest. There was also a lot of wind, leading to daily accumulations of fir needles and small branches on the forest floor. We experienced many days of fog this month which led to opportunities to discuss what fog is. The children have noticed that the light in the forest is changing and the mornings are darker. This has been a great lead-in to talk about how the days are shorter now as…

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Added by Erin Kenny on December 4, 2013 at 10:19am — 1 Comment

Natural Play Killers vs You and Me

What is it that's stopping us getting outside? Is it screens? Is it lack of interest?

Maybe, but there's something else. The Natural Play Killers.

Let me tell you a true story..

Until quite recently I lived in a city centre, a nice bit near a park. I used to walk everyday…
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Added by Lisa Lillywhite on November 11, 2013 at 4:30am — No Comments

Green School in Bali named "Greenest School on Earth"

Named the ‘Greenest School on Earth’ in 2012 by the U.S. Green Building Council, Green School is a pre-k through grade 12 international school sustainably built along a lush river in Bali, Indonesia. There, students are immersed in the natural environment, with bamboo classrooms that are…

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Added by Jennipher Spector on November 6, 2013 at 6:58am — No Comments

Quiet in the Forest

Quiet in the Forest

It's the beginning of all our ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) programs in surrounding schools and the students have fallen back into our outdoor learning routines beautifully. The crisp fall air, the stunning colors of autumn and…
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Added by Amy Butler on October 21, 2013 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Christmas 1994 to Christmas 2013

While looking through old photographs, I came across one that I had used for my Christmas card in 1994. My son William was two-years-old and in love with animals. He played with toy animals, we read stories about animals, and we visited animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo all the time. In fact, for Christmas that year, we gave out gift certificates that read, "This…

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Added by Ann Courcy on December 24, 2013 at 7:15pm — 1 Comment

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten's Emergent Curriculum - October

©Erin Kenny 2013

 

Autumn is palpable in the air and on the ground from chillier temperatures to permanently damp earth. We have all added more clothing layers this month and the children have been requesting their mittens more often. That being said, we also experienced several days this month when it was warm enough for the children (and two teachers) to go barefoot!

 

The children are noticing evidence of the changing season and there is a lot of…

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Added by Erin Kenny on October 25, 2013 at 1:06pm — No Comments

First Week of Forest Preschool at The North Branch Nature Center

I noticed two major signs of fall this week:  the temps were crisp and cool in the morning, and eager 3, 4, and 5 year olds started their first week of Forest Preschool!  Being outside the whole time, the children used their imaginations and took advantage of the forest to have a grand old time.
Our days always start with "Loose Parts Play."  As Forest Preschool teachers, we embrace the adage, "One man's trash is…
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Added by Amy Butler on October 21, 2013 at 2:59pm — No Comments

One Step at a Time

The summit of Mount Monadnock was our goal on a sunny summer day. Friday night we camped at Monadnock State Park at the foot of this popular mountain. Monadnock is said to be the world's third most climbed mountain, behind Japan's Mount Fuji and China's Mount…

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Added by Ann Courcy on October 17, 2013 at 3:22am — 1 Comment

Toys 'R Us ad

Like many in this network I was pretty deeply disappointed in the recent Toys 'R Us ad pitting "trees vs. toys", highlighted in the C&NN media update.  Like many of you Toys 'R Us has been a part of our gift giving and, to be honest, I still enjoy exploring the canyons of toys in the aisles myself.

 

Nothing conveys our disappointment more effectively to Toys "R Us than the power of the purse: not buying from them - and letting them know that.  If you are unhappy with their…

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Added by Manny Kiesser on November 7, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Flipped Classroom: Fertile Ground for Teaching Environmental Education

There's a grassroots movement trending in communities across the country. It started with a handful of tech-savvy pioneers and a few innovative educators. Slowly, it moved in to the mainstream, catching the attention of parents and kids searching for a better way. Forward-thinking businesses and avant-garde entrepreneurs saw the immense, untapped potential and jumped on board. Now, it's cropping up everywhere.

 

No, people aren't protesting on the city green or picketing the…

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Added by Elizabeth Milli on October 1, 2013 at 8:03am — 5 Comments

Cedarsong Forest Kindergarten newsletter - Sept. 2013

Forest Kindergarten newsletter – Sept. 2013 ©Erin Kenny 2013

 September was mostly dry and warm, with some drippy rain and foggy days. We had many barefoot kids right through the third week of September. In my experience, going barefoot is one of the most common experiences young children gravitate towards and these Forest Kindergarten children are all so thankful that they can go without shoes in the Cedarsong forest!

 As the month progressed, the wet chilly weather…

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Added by Erin Kenny on September 27, 2013 at 1:42pm — No Comments

Looking for a Nature Fix in Houston

How do you find nature in an asphalt landscape?

     

      After a summer in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, my children and I returned to Houston, their father, and our little house in the middle of a tangle of freeways.…

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Added by Alice Savage on September 21, 2013 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Albany's Youth Ed-Venture & Nature Network Get Outdoors and Learn

C&NN Associate Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi contributes the following:

Paddling Tivoli North Bay



On an easy Sunday morning this fascinating tidal marsh in Dutchess County, offered our group of inner-city youth, teachers and family members an up-close exploration of spectacular plants, interesting wildlife, and scenic views of the Catskills. With the superb eco-guidance and…

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Added by Suz Lipman on August 31, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Erin Kennys' book "Forest Kindergartens" is released!

A book release party for Erin K. Kenny’s Forest Kindergartens: The Cedarsong Way is scheduled for Sat. Oct. 5, from 6-7:30pm, at the Vashon Land Trust Building. Join the celebration, hear Erin read excerpts from her book and have your…
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Added by Erin Kenny on September 27, 2013 at 11:13am — 3 Comments

Keeping the Enchantment of Childhood Alive

If you answer YES to all of these questions you may wish to join this amazing journey in helping to grow "The Garden of Love"

1. Do you wish to help keep the enchantment of childhood alive?

 

2. Do you believe that picture books and telling stories are important in a child’s life?

 

3. Do you care about the future of our Natural World?

 

4. Do you believe in nurturing compassion, love, truth, respect and peace in our…

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Added by Marghanita Hughes on August 11, 2013 at 5:19pm — 1 Comment

Wrangling the Boys at Rainier National Park

(This post originally appeared on Wolfparents.com)

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 The boys and I always spend several weeks in Seattle each summer.  Usually, the long days at my father’s place feel languid, but this particular summer has been a bit chaotic, with multiple friends passing through town and…

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Added by Alice Savage on August 5, 2013 at 10:41am — 2 Comments

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