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: 239
Latest Activity: Sep 10, 2020


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 Janice Swaisgood on August 8, 2012 at 10:11am

Thanks for sharing this Margie! I will be sharing the curriculum with our regional collaborative as well (San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative). I haven't read the whole thing yet, but what I have looked at looks great and I love that it can be done in a week. This is important as many school already have "character education" programs in place that last the whole year. 

I will also be taking a good look at the curriculum to see how I/we might utilize some of the ideas for our family nature club.

Thanks again for sharing!


PS-- You might want to start a real "discussion" ("Add a Discussion" link) about this and give folks the opportunity to share what they're using in a dynamic format here to inspire others to do the same. =)

Comment by Suz Lipman on July 23, 2012 at 12:56pm

Congratulations Inland Empire Kids Outdoors! 4 years strong as a family nature club! There will be a celebration tomorrow at the U.C. Riverside Botanical Gardens:

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 29, 2012 at 9:26am

Here's another blog you're going to enjoy.

THE BOND OF SHARED SOLITUDE: Family Connection in the Natural World, from Richard Louv:

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 29, 2012 at 9:05am

Hi Everyone,

I think you'll be interested in this new blog from Robert Michael Pyle:

BACK TO THE SUMMIT The return and rise of family nature camps.

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 27, 2012 at 11:32am

CONGRATULATIONS Chip Donahue, Natural Teacher and Nature Club for Families leader.*

Chip was just awarded Teacher of The Year for Roanoke County (VA) Schools. Way to go, Chip!

Here are two stories about Chip and the award:

*In addition to this accomplishment, Chip and Ashley Donahue run Kids in the Valley Adventuring, KIVA. Learn more about them through the Natural Families Network and Chip's blogs on this forum.

Comment by Suz Lipman on March 22, 2012 at 12:32pm

Have you seen C&NN's latest Natural Families Network Newsletter? Get information and inspiration about Let's G.O.! (Get Outside) Month, Family Nature Clubs and more. We hope you'll join the discussions and the activities and get outside with us!

Comment by Carolyn Hopper on February 10, 2012 at 3:23pm

As I'm new to this site, I'll check out some of the activities that other areas are doing. I'm really happy to be connecting outside of state or community borders.

Comment by Carolyn Hopper on February 10, 2012 at 3:22pm

I sent a general message out, but want to add that our Confluence Community here in Bozeman is being designed so we are getting out with the kids - We've started a tracking club and as spring is part of winter or becomes spring we'll be out in wildflowers and playing in streams while we create ceremonies that sustain all of us.  We have a core group of 4 women working on supporting the activities of the Community.

Comment by Kari on February 2, 2012 at 1:04pm


Our chat about outdoor playgroup went well, here you have a post about our chat. Some great ideas and frustrations shared (-:

I guess the most important lesson; we are many people caring about outdoor play.

Here is our link

Comment by Kari on January 20, 2012 at 11:47am

We would love to hear about your group. On we have an outdoor playgroup started up in your neck of the woods, too

Our outdoor playgroups are for small children and it is just about outdoor play in local parks and ravine. Not hardcore activities like you do (-: . But I do share information about activities like that on my site.  I do not do snow shoeing, cross country skiing is our family activity.

I would love to connect with you

A great organization that do great stuff in Canada.  Check out

Cheers Kari


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