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Are you ready for a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom?

Every day, I want to shout from the roof tops, “The Nature Explore program is changing education! Come on world, let’s do this together!” I have the absolutely incredible opportunity to live and breathe Nature Explore and watch the lives of children, families and educators completely change as a result of embracing the outdoors as…
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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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Preparing Your Outdoor Classroom for the New School Year

With summer coming to a close, now is a great time to replenish your classroom for the upcoming school year. Let’s roll up our sleeves and check some maintenance to-do’s off the list! Before you get started, quickly assess your outdoor classroom and jot down the areas that will need attention. This will help as…
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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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Natural Wood: Lessons and Gifts

“It’s all trying to turn back to dirt you know.” I remember hearing this as a young boy regarding wood used outdoors. In many ways wood is the optimal material to use in an outdoor classroom because of its beautiful natural qualities and versatility. Wood creates countless learning opportunities for children but it also comes…
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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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Why Grass Rules

A sterile monoculture or a magical play surface? I’m a turf guy. I like my lawn. Many can debate all the attributes both positive and negative, but I’ll leave that to others. One thing I know is that turf is a magical surface for children. When I was young grass is where I collected acorns,…
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It’s SPRING … Awaken Your Outdoor Classroom!

This past summer, Kelsey Moline and I wrote a blog, giving tips to spruce up the outdoor classroom for the start of the school year.  Well, as many of us are exiting the winter months and entering spring, the snow is melting, the sun is peeking through winter’s grey sky, and the glow of fresh…
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Natural Wood: Lessons and Gifts

“It’s all trying to turn back to dirt.” I remember hearing this as a young boy regarding wood used outdoors. In many ways wood is the optimal material to use in an outdoor classroom because of its beautiful natural qualities and versatility. Wood creates countless learning opportunities for children, but it also comes with its own…
Read More