Posts from December 2017


Nature’s Icebox – Ideas for Play in Cold Weather

Winter is in full swing, transforming many outdoor classrooms into snow dusted wonderlands full of new possibilities and challenges. When children have an opportunity to explore nature every day, they develop a personal understanding of the seasons. Here are a few ideas to encourage exploration and discovery in the outdoor classroom should your seasons include…
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Learning without Limits — Nature’s Loose Parts

Imagine a shoreline after high tide speckled with seashells, kelp and driftwood. The beach, filled with treasures more tantalizing than anything found in a department store, encourages children—and adults—to explore, create and imagine. With no specific set of directions—and powered only by a child’s imagination—an assortment of conch shells might be gathered and classified, or…
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Music and Nature: A Natural Combination

From under the shelter of a tree, a six year old calls to her playmates. “Listen, come hear my song.” Her friends gather around. She sings of the sun rising high in the sky and the sparkling rivers connecting to the sea. Her refrain includes the melodic phrase, “because this beautiful day means everything to…
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Community Building Resource List

This July at the annual Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute, a dynamic group of early childhood and nature enthusiast gathered in Nebraska City to share expertise and solidify our intentions to more fully connect ourselves and our children to the natural world. One third of the participants were Certified Nature Explore Classrooms from across…
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A Growing Community

What a thrilling week! Surrounded by the wonders of nature at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska, a motivated group of natural outdoor classroom users and advocates came together during the Nature Explore/Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute to learn from each other and enhance our shared mission of connecting children with…
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Water Conservation in Your Outdoor Classroom

In most regions, the long days of summer lend themselves to water play. While water is refreshing and fun, it is also a precious natural resource. So how do we balance our desire to conserve with the joy of learning with water in a Nature Explore Classroom?  Here are 5 tips to keep you splashing….
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Boosting Family Engagement in a Nature Explore Classroom

“The more families become involved in the day-to-day experiences of the outdoor classroom the more their level of excitement deepens.” – Keeping it Growing: Sustaining Your Outdoor Classroom Families come to us with a wealth of experiences and interests. They are their child’s most lasting and valuable teachers. Programs that find ways to work with…
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Storage: A Nature Explore Classroom Essential

This November, as the leaves fall and the winds whip through our Nature Explore Classroom at Southern Heights Food Forest, I can’t help but reflect on a year filled with growth, strength, connection to the land and storage, yes storage! Southern Heights Food Forest is a 2-acre space just south of Southern Heights Presbyterian Church…
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ExpERIEnce is Key

Ainslie Brosig describes herself as a person who does not like to get dirty, a person who tries to “contain a mess.” This is why she was surprised when she found inspiration and joy in a creating a Nature Explore Classroom at ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania. Ainslie, Executive Director of the museum and…
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Water Conservation in Your Nature Explore Classroom

In most regions, the long days of summer lend themselves to water play. While water is refreshing and fun, it is also a precious natural resource. So how do we balance our desire to conserve with the joy of learning with water in a Nature Explore Classroom?  Here are 5 tips to keep you splashing….
Read more