A child’s early positive experiences—watching ants march down the sidewalk, listening to birds calling in the trees, catching rainwater in a rain barrel—give children a great start that sets them up for later learning that builds into environmental literacy.
If playing with blocks is such a foundational pillar of education why is block play still largely relagated to a "choice" activity, limited by space and time? What if block building were a central element in your curriculum and schedule?
The children and nature movement is fostering wonderful new ways for kids to play outdoors, yet most of these new approaches are challenged in one vital dimension: frequency. If we really want to power-up nature-based play, it needs to be available where children can enjoy it almost any day, without adult involvement or confining schedules.
It’s mud season again and good things are being made. How about a chocolate mud pie, decorated with yellow dandelions? Or a luscious cupcake sprinkled with sand and cherry petals? A mud kitchen can be a stimulating, and very accessible, addition to your outdoor space.
Gardening with young children isn’t nearly as romantic in practice as most people think. Yes, it’s fun; and yes, there are moments of wonder and discovery. But gardening with a group of young children is seldom as calm, intentional, or controlled as most teachers hope it will be. So, why garden?
Earth Day is a great opportunity to teach children more about sustainability, nature, and what it means to “be green”. This fun project demonstrates those values by using recycled materials and planting seeds. Plus, the funky green hair is hard to beat! Good for Earth Day, or any...
Are You a Leader?
You may not think of yourself as a leader, but you probably are. There are all kinds of leaders: the conventional ones—CEOs, managers, coaches, principals of schools, or directors of centers—and the more subtle, but just as influential, leaders we encounter in daily...
Our children need to fall, they need to climb, and they need to get dirty. They need to experiment and to stretch their limits. My parents gave me a gift—it was the gift of Nature as a prepared environment, a place to play freely. Let us give every child the same gift.
You are cordially invited to begin to de-clatter your classroom. Begin to think differently about how your physical space is structured and organized. Search for new ways of creating transparency in your space.
Sand and water hold a tremendous attraction for young children, but as time for play is increasingly threatened by standards and curriculum driven activities, how can teachers validate the educational value and necessity of sand in the classroom?